Hollywood Notes

Dec 10, 2001  •  Post A Comment

`Hank Azaria’ gets `Emeril’s’ NBC slot
NBC is chalking in midseason replacement comedy “The Hank Azaria Show” for the 8 p.m.-to-8:30 p.m. (ET) Tuesday time slot-previously held by struggling freshman “Emeril” -starting Jan. 8, 2002. Current 8:30 p.m.-to-9 p.m. lead-out sitcom “Three Sisters,” which received a back order for six more original episodes last week, will continue to hold its time slot. “Emeril,” which went on hiatus just prior to the start of the November sweeps, is scheduled for 8 p.m. airings Dec. 11 and 18, after which NBC executives plan to evaluate its performance to decide its future with the network. “The Hank Azaria Show” stars the two-time Emmy winner (“Tuesdays With Morrie” and “The Simpsons”) as a TV writer who mines his own fantasy life for humorous ideas.
`Fear Factor’ returning to NBC
NBC is scheduling “Fear Factor” for a return with new episodes in the 8 p.m.-to-9 p.m. (ET) Monday time slot starting Jan. 7. Sources said NBC has ordered 18 new original episodes of “Fear Factor” and is eager to get strong sampling in “Weakest Link’s” current opening Monday slot this season. NBC spokespeople said celebrity-themed “Weakest Link” episodes will continue to run on Sunday nights during the 8 p.m.-to-9 p.m. time slot. Last summer, “Fear Factor” averaged a 5.6 rating/18 share among adults 18 to 49 and more than 12 million viewers weekly, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Shaughnessy to produce `Y&R’
David Shaughnessy has been named executive producer of CBS’s top-rated daytime soap “The Young and the Restless,” replacing longtime show runner Edward Scott. A statement from CBS said Mr. Scott, who had been with “Y&R” for 28 of the show’s 29 years on CBS (1972-2001), simply stated he was at the completion of his contract, which was not renewed.
Mr. Shaughnessy, who was named supervising producer of “The Young and the Restless” in November 2000, joined the show as a producer and a director in 1990.
Fox developing show for Sykes
Looking to seize upon the ratings success of “The Bernie Mac Show” and renewed interest in crossover urban sitcoms, Fox is developing with Warner Bros. Television a new half-hour comedy built around African American standup comic Wanda Sykes. The project is being shepherded by Bruce Helford and Les Firestein, who have collaborated together as executive producers on “The Drew Carey Show” (ABC) and “Nikki” (The WB). The producers are currently penning a script to accent Ms. Sykes’ “adult, acerbic and smart humor” in a family-oriented sitcom vehicle.
Tokyopop bringing shows to U.S.
Hollywood could soon be hit by a wave of Asian hits now that Tokypop has licensed the rights to eight properties across multiple entertainment platforms that will soon be showcased in North America. Among them are Japanese hit “Initial D” about the street-racing scene, “Real Bout High School” about a high school samurai girl fighting horrific monsters, and “Cowboy Bebob,” which currently airs on the Cartoon Network. “These exciting acquisitions complement our current broad base of properties and further solidify Tokyopop as the most comprehensive multiplatform distributor of international entertainment titles,” said John Parker, company president and chief operating officer.
Short takes
Beau Bridges, a multiple Emmy Award-winning actor, is set to join the cast of CBS’s CIA-based Thursday night drama “The Agency.” Mr. Bridges will play the director of the CIA starting with an episode to be broadcast in early 2002, said CBS. His character replaces Director Alex Pierce (Ronny Cox), who is ousted from “The Agency” in an episode scheduled for broadcast on Dec. 20. … CBS Television is sponsoring a Writer’s Symposium with East West Players, regarded as the leading Asian Pacific American theater group in the country, to take place Thursday at the ensemble’s David Henry Hwang Theatre in Los Angeles.