At Press Time

Aug 13, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Strained romance
for Rocket Science
Los Angeles-Warner Bros.’ Telepictures Productions has brought a breach of contract suit against independent producer Rocket Science Laboratories for the “misappropriation” of an unidentified romance-based series they were co-developing. The series in question is “Matchmaker Mansion,” sources said, though the suit, filed Aug. 1 in Los Angeles Superior Court, does not identify the name of the show. Rocket Science principals Jean-Michel Michenaud and Christopher Cowan also have a 13-episode development commitment from USA Network for “Mystery Mansion,” which does not count Telepictures as a co-producer. Telepictures charges that Rocket Science shared details of “Matchmaker Mansion” with USA. Rocket Science was unreachable for comment. Telepictures declined to comment.
AOL disconnects
upfront ad deals
New York-AOL Time Warner is said to have canceled a number of upfront advertising orders it had on “hold” at various broadcast networks. A “hold” occurs routinely in upfront negotiations. After a company’s advertising agency negotiates a price with a network for commercial time, the order is put on “hold” while the agency gets final approval from its client. The orders in this instance were said to be for advertising the AOL online service. The amount of money involved could not be determined, though one source said it was “significant millions.” An AOL spokesperson said the company does not comment on whether or not it participates in the upfront. The AOL Time Warner-owned WB Network was also said to be hit, but a top WB executive adamantly denied that AOL had canceled any upfront orders that had been on “hold.” It could not be determined whether AOL consummated any buy on The WB.