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Hollywood Notes

Jan 7, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Wayne Brady talker cleared on ABC
As had been expected, Buena Vista Television has now officially cleared the upcoming talk/variety hour starring Wayne Brady on the ABC owned-and-operated stations. Included in the deal are KABC-TV, Los Angeles, and WLS-TV, Chicago, which were originally thought to have difficulties finding prime-time periods to air the strip. However, the series is now set for a fall debut in all the key markets.
UPN cancels exec session at TCA
On the heels of CBS Television Network President Leslie Moonves officially adding UPN to his purview on Jan. 1, a traditional Q&A session with top UPN executives Dean Valentine and Adam Ware has been scrapped from the network’s portion of the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 14. TCA President Diane Werts said in an e-mail that CBS had informed TCA that in place of the midday executive session, Mr. Moonves will open UPN’s midseason programming presentations with some brief remarks. He is also slated to attend the UPN party later that night. CBS representatives were unreachable for comment. A UPN spokeswoman said Mr. Ware and Mr. Valentine will still be in attendance during the sessions.
`Emma Brody’ gets title makeover
Fox’s midseason replacement “Emma Brody” is getting a name change. The title is being changed to “The American Embassy,” a source at series producer 20th Century Fox Television said, to capitalize on the country’s reinvigorated patriotism since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Plus, “there was a concern at Fox about [it] being regarded as [a] chick-only show” under the former “Emma Brody” title, said the source. The show is scheduled to take over “Ally McBeal’s” 9 p.m.-to-10 p.m. (ET) Monday slot for a six-episode run starting in March. Filmed in England last spring, the drama is set in the American embassy in London, where lead Emma Brody (played by Arija Bareikis) unexpectedly falls in love with a member of the British royal family.
FX could see lots more of `24′
Robert Cochran, executive producer and co-creator of Fox’s“24,” said talks are ongoing with Fox’s sister cable network FX about doing a “marathon” 24-hour showing of the series late this spring or this summer. Mr. Cochran said “24” is also being considered for five- to six-hour showings over several nights to make it into something akin to a “miniseries event” for FX. “We have kicked several things around, but we thought it would really be fun and interesting to see the entire run of `24′ in its natural, chronological order” based on its real-time format, Mr. Cochran said.
ABC, Touchstone spin `The Web’
ABC and its Touchstone Television production unit are tangling on “The Web,” a highly buzzed about, yet-to-be-scheduled satire on the broadcast network business. According to sources some ABC executives are concerned the current title sounds too much like a show about an Internet startup company.
In the meantime, ABC sent out the original pilot of “The Web,” which was shot last April, revealing some insider jokes on current network executives-most notably a reference to Jordan Levin, The WB’s entertainment president, as a “young snot.” At one point, Ed Begley Jr., who stars as beleaguered IBS network President Paul Weffler, lashes back at his colleagues by saying he has “[neck]ties older than Jordan Levin” in reference to repeated back-office rumors circulating about the latter’s imminent demise. The pilot, shipped to critics last week, according to a Touchstone spokeswoman, will likely undergo some reshooting and dialogue changes.