Hollywood Notes

Oct 1, 2001  •  Post A Comment

NATPE claims growth despite pullouts
Don’t cancel those Las Vegas reservations just yet. Despite the withdrawal of several leading syndicators from this January’s National Association of Television Program Executives convention, the show will be bigger and better, according to NATPE CEO Bruce Johansen. Mr. Johansen said strong support from Columbia TriStar, Tribune, Studios USA, FremantleMedia, NBC and Twentieth and an increased presence from international companies will keep the convention floor buzzing. “We’re about the diversity of the business and we’re focused on putting on the best show we can,” he said. “Although companies moving off the floor may no longer be supporting us the way they used to, it’s clear that we’re still achieving our mission as an organization. NATPE executives are inviting other organizations whose meetings were cut short due to the terrorist attacks, such as RTNDA, to meet during January’s event. One major studio, Paramount, has yet to decide whether it will participate at NATPE, though sister company King World has already pulled out.
Emmy festivities to be toned down
Low-key and somber are the key words for the broadcast of “The 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards,” delayed for three weeks for an Oct. 7 telecast on CBS (8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET). The awards show will be opened by former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, who will deliver special remarks pertaining to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres will host the remainder of the telecast.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive one hour early. Dress for the show will be dressy business attire. The traditional red carpet area will be scaled back significantly, with fans and bleachers eliminated. A “Unity Dinner” will replace the traditional Governors’ Ball immediately following the awards. All attendees will be together in one secured location. All other Emmy parties have been canceled.
Programming execs question reality TV
Broadcast network entertainment chiefs, on the luncheon dais of the Hollywood Radio & Television Society’s Newsmakers panel session last week in Los Angeles, expressed some broad concerns that viewer tastes toward reality TV could be somewhat more somber in light of the terrorist bombings. In particular, Lloyd Braun, co-chairman of the ABC Television Entertainment Group, wondered whether the “pettiness” and competitive “interpersonal dynamics” of reality series could be a turnoff to America’s viewers.
Kelly Kahl, senior vice president of program planning and scheduling at CBS, however, suggested that such reality series as CBS’s “Survivor” and “Amazing Race” focus on competition, which still makes them escapist shows that appeal to a broad base of viewers.
`Card Sharks’ offers relief
Fremantle is swimming to help New York relief efforts. The syndicator is now asking New York-area rescue workers whether they want to appear on the game show “Card Sharks” to help win money for the victims’ families.
Telethon raises $150 million
The unprecedented 35-network telethon “America: A Tribute to Heroes” raised more than $150 million in pledges since its broadcast Sept. 21 from call centers in the United States and Canada and through its Web site, according to the event’s organizers. One hundred percent of the funds raised will go to The September 11th Telethon Fund and will be earmarked to help the thousands of victims and their families who have suffered from the terrorist attacks on America. The Telethon Fund is a long-term relief fund administered by the United Way.
The two-hour telethon drew an average of 59.3 million total viewers and up to 89 million viewers during different six-minute intervals of the broadcast, Nielsen Media Research has estimated.
Donations to the relief fund can still be made at www.tributetoheroes.org (or AOL keyword: Tribute; or tribute.yahoo.com), or mailed in care of The September 11th Telethon Fund, P.O. Box 203103, Houston, TX 77216-3103.