Hollywood Notes

Jun 4, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Smiley could talk for Disney
Former BET personality Tavis Smiley appears poised to enter the Mouse House. Sources say the former talk show host looks set to sign a deal with Disney for a talk show through its Buena Vista arm. The talk show would launch in 2002, should the deal be finalized. While there has been speculation the strip would be placed in daytime, other dayparts are being considered by the distributor.
WB picks up more midseason shows
The WB has picked up two more midseason shows-“Cedric the Coach” and “The (Mis)Adventures of Fiona Plum,” which will join the network’s previously announced midseason comedy “Young Person’s Guide to Becoming a Rock Star.”
The WB has also made a pilot commitment for a potential midseason hidden-video comedy series starring Jamie Kennedy and executive-produced by Michael Davies, Mike Karz and Jeff Boggs.
“Cedric the Coach” is a combination family and workplace comedy from Artists Television Group that stars Cedric the Entertainer. “The (Mis)Adventures of Fiona Plum,” from Studios USA, stars Kelly Brook as a pampered witch.
Bruckheimer in deal with Warner Bros.
“Pearl Harbor” producer Jerry Bruckheimer, whose Jerry Bruckheimer Films co-produces the hit freshman CBS drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” has inked a new, exclusive TV pact with Warner Bros. Television.
The two-year, first-look deal came just as Mr. Bruckheimer’s first-look development and production deal with Disney’s Touchstone Television expired. However, grandfathered under a former deal, Bruckheimer Films and Touchstone are still set to co-produce the fall 2001 CBS reality series “The Amazing Race,” which Touchstone is financing as a passive partner.
The loss of the production company is somewhat of a blow to Touchstone, which had at one time been working with Bruckheimer Films as a co-production partner on “CSI” but ultimately abandoned the project. Alliance Atlantis and CBS Productions then came in as production partners.
Ultimately, the decision to bow out meant Touchstone was cut out of “CSI’s” record $1.6 million-per-episode deal with The National Network (a Viacom property) valued at more than $160 million for the first 100 episodes delivered to the cable network.
Bruckheimer Films, known for its action films, is maintaining its exclusive motion-picture production deal with sister Disney unit Touchstone Pictures.
Revamped `Big Brother’ premiere set
The second edition of the hour-long reality series “Big Brother” will premiere July 5 in its regular live Thursday (8 p.m.-to-9 p.m. ET) slot.
There will also be Tuesday and Saturday airings of edited versions of the show, which features contestants living in a specially designed house filled with cameras and microphones. CBS News reporter Julie Chen continues as host.
“Rescue 911” creator Arnold Shapiro, who was brought in to revamp the show, is introducing several changes to “Big Brother,” which made its debut on CBS last summer. For example, houseguests, rather than the viewing audience, will vote on the evictions, and there will not be a studio audience during the live show.
Promax lines up keynoters
With less than a month to go before its convention, Promax is firming up its keynote speakers. Lifetime Television President and CEO Carole Black and BBDO Worldwide Chairman-CEO Allen Rosenshine will join MTV International President Bill Roedy as keynoters during the opening session of the 46th annual convention. Meanwhile, Betty Cohen, president of Cartoon Network Worldwide, will receive the Pinnacle Award during a ceremony June 22.
Also featured at the June 20-23 conference will be sessions promoting local news, a retrospective on network branding and a look at the marketing of “Survivor.” In addition, Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper will review promos.