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Jun 4, 2001  •  Post A Comment

NBA boosts NBC Sunday ratings

Game 7 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference championship series, won by the Philadelphia 76ers over the Milwaukee Bucks 108-91, helped NBC easily take Sunday evening among adults 18 to 49 and 18 to 34. From 7 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. (ET), the Eastern Conference title game won each half-hour in adults 18 to 49, posting an overall 5.4 rating/15 share average in the key demo, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data.

The Eastern final scored a 7.5/15 in households (representing 11.6 million total viewers), finishing second only to CBS’s typically strong Sunday lineup (8.5/15) during the three-hour frame. However, the last hour of the 76ers-Bucks playoff and a delayed start of “Weakest Link” ran roughshod on CBS’s telecast of the Tony Awards both in households (7.7/12 vs. 6.4/10) and in adults 18 to 49 (5.4/14 vs. 2.5/6) during the 9 p.m.-to-11 p.m. span.

For the evening, NBC’s 5.2/14 average in adults 18 to 49 held a 58 percent edge over second-place Fox (3.3/9), whose lineup consisted entirely of repeat programming. CBS finished third in adults 18 to 49 (2.6/7) but won in households (7.8/13) and total viewers (11.3 million). ABC, which ran a repeat of the movie “Harriet The Spy” and its lone original show of the evening, an episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” finished fourth in adults 18 to 49 (2.5/7) and third in households (6.1/10).

NBA Finals to include halftime entertainment blitz: NBC Sports plans to put some music and some game in its halftime broadcasts during the best-of-seven NBA Finals broadcasts that start Wednesday with the Philadelphia 76ers facing the Lakers in Los Angeles’ Staples Center.

Up first: U2, joined via satellite during its Wednesday concert in Boston, just in time for a rendition of “Elevation,” the new single from the movie “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.” During Games 2 and 3, halftime will be the showcase for 10-minute NBA-tailored editions of “Weakest Link” with host Anne Robinson doing her best to cut down to size such contestants as sportscaster Bob Costas, analysts Bill Walton and Steve “Snapper” Jones and WNBA star Lisa Leslie. Jumping through halftime hoops during Game 4 will be Destiny’s Child. Should the series go to Game 5, the band Sugar Ray will perform.

California-themed news show planned: PBS station KCET-TV, Los Angeles, will collaborate with three other PBS stations in California — KQED-TV, San Francisco, KPBS-TV, San Diego, and KVIE-TV, Sacramento — to produce a new half-hour weeknight news show, “California Connected.” The series, which will be headquartered at KCET, will report on issues that affect Californians and will air in 80 percent of the state in broadcast coverage. The show has no launch date yet, but will probably begin in 2002.

Hispanic ad market climbing steadily: To reach the fastest-growing segment of the advertising market, you need to speak the language, which happens to be Spanish. That’s one recent conclusion from Salomon Smith Barney about the outlook for Hispanic advertising. Here are some of the others: SSB expects the Hispanic ad market to be up about 5 percent for the year. That’s in a general advertising market that will be flat to down, according to SSB’s analysis. Decline in Spanish-language use in Hispanic homes over the decade has been minimal, approximately 1.5 percent, in a period during which the U.S. Hispanic population increased by 58 percent.

While Hispanics, who tend to be heavy TV viewers, make up about 8 percent of the U.S. population, only 1 percent of all advertising expenditures currently targets them.

Lifetime to launch ‘Intimate Portrait’ marketing campaign: To promote the launch of its sixth season, Lifetime Television is planning to roll out its first-ever national consumer marketing campaign for its prime-time series “Intimate Portrait.” The show is on each weeknight from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. (ET). The multimillion-dollar campaign, featuring the theme “Her Story, Her Words,” emphasizes “Lifetime’s Intimate Portrait” as the only profile series on television in which the subject shares her life story with the viewers in her own words. The new season begins the week of June 18. On-air spots and print ads begin breaking the week of June 11.

Eclectic ABC comedy show slated for June debut: “You Don’t Know Jack,” a high-energy comedy and trivia show based on the hit CD-ROM and Internet game, is set to premiere on ABC in back-to-back episodes Wednesday, June 20 (8 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET). Comedian Paul Reubens (“Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” “Blow”) returns to television in the persona of Troy Stevens, a fictitious host of “You Don’t Know Jack.” The show has been in development for more than two years. Following the premiere, the game show will regularly air at 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays on ABC.

Each week, an eclectic crew of guest stars, including fighting ninjas, former Olympic sprinting star Carl Lewis, belly dancers, an opera singer, a mariachi band and screaming babies, try their best to distract contestants from their quest to win cash prizes.

“You Don’t Know Jack” is a Carsey-Werner-Mandabach production. The show had been previously in development at Warner Bros., but the studio opted out its deal after being unable to develop the show for the broadcast networks or syndication.

Executive producers are Robert Morton (of NBC’s former “Late Night With David Letterman” and the upcoming NBC summer replacement comedy sketch series “The Downer Channel”), Andrew Golder (“Win Ben Stein’s Money”) and Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner and Caryn Mandabach (“That ’70s Show,” “Grounded for Life”). Supervising producer and head writer is Eddie Feldman (“Dennis Miller Live”). Terrence McDonnell serves as game producer and writer.

The CD-ROM game “You Don’t Know Jack” was created in 1995 by Jellyvision in partnership with Berkeley Systems.

Charter launches VOD in Ft. Worth, St. Louis: Charter Communications has deployed video-on-demand services in Fort Worth, Texas, and St. Louis, Mo., the company announced. The new VOD offering utilizes Diva’s software and servers. Diva has also signed deals with two other major MSOs — Insight Communications and AT&T Broadband. Diva recently won a patent for encryption of VOD content, as was originally reported by Electronic Media (“Diva stacking up video-on-demand patents,” May 28).

ABC teams up with Coca-Cola on summer contest: ABC daytime has partnered with Coca-Cola as the presenting sponsor of the ABC Daytime Summer Concert Jam sweepstakes, to take place July 2 to 20, 2001. Viewers can enter the grand prize sweepstakes for the chance to have Disney-owned Hollywood Records’ BBMak or Lyric Street Records’ SHeDAISY or Kortney Kayle perform live at their school.

Beginning July 2, viewers must watch “General Hospital,” “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” each weekday for the chance to win.

SHeDAISY, BBMak and Kortney Kayle will each perform on one of the ABC daytime soaps.

SHeDAISY will appear on “General Hospital” during the week of July 2-6. BBMak will appear on “All My Children” July 9-13. And Ms. Kayle, who will have a short-term recurring role playing herself on “One Life to Live,” will perform July 16-20.

Immediately following the performances, viewers will be invited to call a toll-free number that will be announced during a special promotional spot for the chance to be entered into a drawing. The grand prize winner will be selected at random on or about July 26 and will be notified by mail as the winner of a live musical performance by SHeDAISY, BBMak or Ms. Kayle at the winner’s school.

Other prizes, will include a VIP Concert Pass to be awarded to a total of 100 viewers for two to a concert by the featured artist for that episode; and instant win prizes for 90 callers who will get an autographed CD by the featured artist for that episode.

BBMak, the hot British trio made up of Mark Barry, Christian Burns and Ste McNally, first became known to United States audiences with its Hollywood Records debut album “Sooner or Later.” SHeDAISY, the popular vocal trio comprised of sisters Kristyn, Kelsi and Kassidy Osborn, is the only new country group of
1999-2000 to achieve platinum status, with its debut album, “The Whole SHeBANG.” Kortney Kayle, a country singer-songwriter who hails from Ayr, Ontario, Canada, is set to release her debut album on Lyric Street Records, “No Turning Back,” on Aug. 28, and released the first single from the album, “Unbroken By You,” in early May 2001.(c) Copyright 2001 by Crain Communications