Hollywood Notes

Nov 5, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Twentieth launching cross-promotion
Twentieth Television will beef up its slate of promos with five new cross-promotional campaigns with Fox Interactive, Activision, Champs Sports, Broadway Across America, Star magazine and The National Enquirer. The promotions incorporate runs of hit off-network series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “The Practice” and “World’s Wildest Police Videos” as well as top-rated first-run series “Divorce Court” and “Power of Attorney.”
“These cross-promotional marketing campaigns, when properly strategized and executed, can be extraordinarily beneficial to all parties concerned,” said Bob Cook, president and chief operating officer of Twentieth Television. “The advertiser has the benefit of additional media exposure and the association with high-profile hit series. We have additional media reach and frequency that drives viewers to our programs, plus additional ad revenues.”
Among the prizes: all-expense-paid travel by luxury train to Transylvania for “Buffy” watchers; a racing-ready Honda Civic SI and a trip for two to Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School for “Police Videos”; and 10 trips for two to a Broadway Across America production of the winners’s choice and two all-inclusive vacation packages to Aruba and Antigua for audiences of the court shows.
Carsey-Werner yields to NBC on `23:12′
Carsey-Werner-Mandabach Co. has agreed to step back and let NBC Studios take over production on the new midseason sitcom “23:12,” starring “Seinfeld” alumna Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The tentatively titled project, previously known as “22 Minutes With Eleanor Riggs,” received a 13-episode order from the Peacock Network earlier this month based on the strength of the pilot. Carey-Werner, which produced the pilot but is now moving into a creative consultant role for the series, is said by sources to have had difficulty reaching an agreement with NBC on financial terms for the pricey show and on control of distribution for its potential off-network syndication run.
CBS picks up `Bickford’ and `Agency’
CBS has issued nine-episode extension orders for freshmen “The Agency” and “The Education of Max Bickford” and sophomore “That’s Life” to carry the middling dramas to full-season orders. CBS is canceling the John Wells-created “Citizen Baines”; the series’ last episode will air two weeks into the November sweeps. CBS has not yet pegged a regular series replacement to fill “Citizen Baines”’ 9 p.m. (ET) Saturday time slot, but has the luxury of a prime-time college football game (Florida vs. Florida State) to air Nov. 17 and buy it time to find a series bench player.
MTV to cut staff by 450
MTV said last week it will lay off 8 percent to 9 percent of its staff in a sweeping reorganization. In addition to the layoffs of approximately 450 people, the restructuring will include the relocation of TNN operations from Tennessee to New York; the dramatic downsizing of the affiliate marketing department and MTVi; the reconsolidation of Nick at Nite and TV Land under TV Land’s Larry Jones, the executive VP and general manager; outsourcing MTV animation; the completion of VH1 management reorganization; a restructuring of Nickelodeon; the merging of some Latin American operations and the localization of some international operations.
Short takes
Scott Brooks of Budweiser’s “Whassup?” commercial fame has reached a deal with Banyon Productions to host a new reality-driven series that is currently in development. … Terry Wood has been upped to senior VP of programming for the Domestic Television Division of the Paramount Television Group, where she will focus on programming and development for “Entertainment Tonight,” “Hot Ticket” and the upcoming “Dr. Phil.” Prior to joining Paramount, Ms. Wood served as executive director of development for Harpo Entertainment. … Douglas Greiff is joining Hip TV, an independent production company specializing in Latin-themed programming, as partner and head of production. Mr. Greiff, who is currently Nickelodeon’s VP of program development, will start his new job at Hip TV on Nov. 12.