Hollywood Notes

Jul 16, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Studios bring syndie stars to TCA stage
Almost a year after the formation of NBC’s syndication division, the studio closed out the new version of the syndication portion of the Television Critics Association summer press tour. With three co-hosts of NBC Enterprises’ first syndie outing, “The Other Half,” present-Danny Bonaduce, Mario Lopez and Dr. Jan Adams-the day yielded more satisfaction for critics than last year, when several promised stars failed to show up. In addition to offering “The Other Half,” NBC Enterprises confirmed that the syndicated version of “Weakest Link” has cleared network-owned KNBC-TV in Los Angeles.
King World Productions, Telepictures Productions/Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Universal Worldwide Television and Pearson Television joined NBC Enterprises to flesh out the day with stars from their upcoming programs, “The Ananda Lewis Show,” the revamped “Change of Heart”/”Elimidate,” “The Fifth Wheel” and “Card Sharks.”
“We decided that we needed a different voice for the different look of the show,” said “Change of Heart” executive producer Scott St. John of the show’s switch to a new host (stand-up comic Lynne Koplitz) and a new venue (New York). “You start off as the only game in town, and going to these venues, then you see four or five competing shows turning up at the same events.”
ABC adds `One Saturday Morning’ shows
ABC’s “Disney’s One Saturday Morning” schedule for the 2001-02 season is adding two series-“Lizzie McGuire” and “Even Stevens”-that the broadcast network is getting in a second shared window from its sister cable network Disney Channel. The two shows will begin airing on ABC Sept. 15. Meanwhile, ABC has slated an Oct. 20 debut for the previously planned animated series from twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (“Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action”) to fill the 11 a.m.-to-11:30 a.m. (ET) slot in place of “Sabrina, The Animated Series,” which continues with a weekday run on UPN.
`Big Brother 2’s’ Justin gets the boot
Justin Sebik, a 26-year-old contestant on CBS’s “Big Brother 2” reality series, was “permanently removed” from the show July 11 for placing a kitchen knife in front of the throat of housemate Krista Stegall during what had supposedly been a romantic encounter. His expulsion from the show came after producers had issued a previous warning over exhibiting “threatening behavior” toward a male contestant on the show earlier in the week.
“The safety and well-being of the houseguests will always be our top priority,” executive producer Arnold Shapiro said in a statement. “In our view, Justin’s behavior crossed the line of tolerable and acceptable behavior, and was a blatant violation of the house rules we established. As much as we like Justin, we really had no choice but to expel him from the house.”
A CBS spokeswoman said the network concurred with Mr. Shapiro’s decision. She also said Justin had previously passed various psychological tests and criminal background checks.
Two vets join `Hot Ticket’
Paramount Domestic Television has tapped into the “Entertainment Tonight” pool for the fall season, beginning with veteran “ET” producers Janet Annino and Glenn Meehan being named co-executive producers of Paramount’s upcoming TV newsmagazine “Hot Ticket.” In addition, Joy Dolce, whose former credits include “Politically Incorrect” and “Mad TV,” will serve as the show’s talent executive. Meanwhile, Carla Pennington has been named co-executive producer of Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight Weekend.”
Programming promotions at The WB
Three executives of The WB’s programming department-Carolyn Bernstein, Mike Clements and Tracey Pakosta-have received promotions to form a new development team under Entertainment President Jordan Levin. Ms. Bernstein, who has worked in drama development and led The WB into the reality realm, has been named senior vice president of drama development. Mr. Clements and Ms. Pakosta, who teamed to give The WB its most prolific comedy development season ever, are being named co-senior vice presidents of comedy development. All three will report directly to Mr. Levin.