Hollywood Notes

Aug 6, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Stations prescribe heavy `Dr. Phil’ doses
King World Productions has sold its “Dr. Phil” afternoon talk show to 39 stations representing more than 55 percent of the country, including all of the top 10 markets. The stations sold represent NBC, CBS and ABC affiliates and such station groups as CBS, NBC, Hearst-Argyle Television, Post-Newsweek, Young Broadcasting, Belo and Gannett Broadcasting. Although just brought into the market, the series already has been acquired by WCBS-TV, New York; KNBC-TV, Los Angeles; WMAQ-TV, Chicago; KYW-TV, Philadelphia; KRON-TV, San Francisco; WBZ-TV, Boston; KTVT-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth; WRC-TV, Washington; WDIV-TV, Detroit; and WXIA-TV, Atlanta.
Plenty of action for Tribune
Tribune Entertainment President Dick Askin announced the current development slate for the distributor last week. Among the projects, Tribune will seek to strengthen its weekend hour status with five action hours on the slate for the 2002-03 season. Tribune also confirmed the development of “Beyond With James Van Praagh,” a strip in which a psychic communicates with the spirit world.
`Big Brother 2′ vacating family hour
Coming off its strongest ratings of the summer among adults 18 to 34, CBS’s “Big Brother 2” is being moved from the 8 p.m. (ET) hour to a 9 p.m. time slot starting Tuesday due to the network’s concerns that content may be inappropriate for the so-called “family hour.” The 9 p.m. start will also apply to “Big Brother’s” airings on Thursday and Saturday evenings. Moving down to the 8 p.m. hour in place of “BB2” will be repeats of dramas “JAG” on Tuesdays and “The District” on Saturdays, while first runs of newsmagazine “48 Hours” will take the leadoff slot on Thursdays.
From `Xena’ to `X-Files’
She lost her life and head on “Xena: Warrior Princess,” but lead actress Lucy Lawless is coming back to TV in Fox’s “The X-Files“ for two episodes next season. And Ms. Lawless’ guest spot could last longer than those two outings, said Gail Berman, president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Co. However, details regarding Ms. Lawless’ character, in true “X-Files” form, are being closely kept under wraps.
Feldman developing series for USA
Jon Harmon Feldman, a veteran writer/producer for The WB’s “Dawson’s Creek” and ABC’s “The Wonder Years” series, has signed with Studios USA Television to develop comedy and drama series for the Barry Diller-owned studio. Mr. Feldman was brought to Studios USA through the Studios USA-based production company formed by Danielle Stokdyk and Jennifer Gwartz.
N.Y. teen nabs `Bob Patterson’ role
Brooklyn native James Guidice has won the of role of Jeffrey, the 17-year-old son of Jason Alexander’s character in ABC’s new fall comedy, “Bob Patterson.” Mr. Guidice won the role after auditioning at an open casting call along with 200 other hopefuls on July 10 in New York. A resident of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, Mr. Guidice is a senior at Edward R. Murrow High School. His only other acting experience has consisted of roles in elementary and high school plays, among them The Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz” and Elwood Blues in “The Blues Brothers.”
George to produce pilot for Viacom
Terry George, creator of CBS’s freshman drama “The District,” has signed with Viacom Productions to write, produce and direct a fall 2002 drama pilot being considered by CBS. A spokeswoman for Viacom, which is the parent company of CBS, would only divulge that Mr. George is working on an “ensemble” drama.