Hollywood Notes

Dec 17, 2001  •  Post A Comment

ATAS votes Chabin out
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has ousted Jim Chabin as the paid, full-time president of the Emmy Awards organization. The decision not to renew Mr. Chabin’s contract came after a vote by ATAS’s executive committee last Wednesday. It also came as the result of a similar no-confidence vote from ATAS Chairman and CEO Bryce Zabel, who came into his elected position earlier this year and is said by sources to have had differences with Mr. Chabin over the latter’s future role in the organization. Mr. Chabin, who previously served as chairman of Promax before joining ATAS in 1999, reportedly wanted to take a more visible front-man role in ATAS, but that has historically been the role of the elected chairman.
Unniversal strips get upgraded
Universal Worldwide Television has received early holiday presents from some of the country’s top television stations, with upgrades in the nation’s top two markets on relationship strips “Blind Date” and “The 5th Wheel.” In New York, Fox-owned WWOR-TV will add two additional runs of “Blind Date” in early-fringe dayparts at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. in addition to its 11 p.m. airing, while moving “Wheel” from 1 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 and adding a second run at 1:30 a.m. Meanwhile, Los Angeles station KCOP-TV has added a third run of “Blind Date” at 6:30 p.m., now making the show available to audiences at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. “Wheel’s” L.A. outlet, KCAL-TV, has given that strip a second run at 12:30 a.m.
Pariah settles with Columbia TriStar
In a settlement, Sony’s Columbia TriStar Television has ended its talent deal with producer Gavin Polone’s Pariah Productions. Columbia TriStar announced its intentions to exit network series development last October. Details of the settlement were not disclosed, but Mr. Polone confirmed his company is free to explore potential new co-production deals with the networks and other studios for the half-dozen or so projects currently in development. “We came to a very fair settlement, even though it was somewhat sad to see the relationship end [with Columbia TriStar],” said Mr. Polone, who is best known in Hollywood for executive producing “Gilmore Girls” for The WB and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” for HBO. “I’m going to be able to take all of my other shows elsewhere, but a lot of stuff still has to be figured out.”
Tribune clears `Praagh’
As expected, Tribune Entertainment has cleared upcoming strip “Beyond With James Van Praagh” in 48 markets, including Tribune stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston, for a clearance level of 58 percent of the country. Non-Tribune markets include Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. The series will be executive produced by Emmy Award winner Kari Sagin, whose credits include “The Maury Povich Show” and “Sally Jessy Raphael.”
CBS orders `American Fighter Pilots’
Looking to seize upon the country’s renewed patriotism and viewer interest in military series, the Eye Network has ordered “American Fighter Pilots,” a midseason reality series from noted action film directors Ridley Scott and Tony Scott’s production company, Scott Free Productions. The `”Top Gun’-like reality series,” as CBS bills it, follows people from various backgrounds as they train to become fighter pilots. A CBS spokeswoman said the network has not decided on a final number of episodes to order, but also said the half-hour or hour-long reality series is likely to launch in spring 2002.
WB sets midseason schedules
The WB is dumping its low-rated reality series “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” in the 8 p.m.-to-9 p.m. (ET) hour for double runs of “The Steve Harvey Show,” followed by the 8 p.m.-to-8:30 p.m. insertion of midseason show “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment” starting Sunday, Jan. 13. Also, as long anticipated, “Glory Days” will get the post-“Dawson’s Creek” 9 p.m. Wednesday hour from “Felicity,” which airs its “winter finale” on Dec. 19 and then returns with original episodes in April.