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TCA cable notes

Jan 21, 2002  •  Post A Comment

HBO unveils Lewinsky, Giuliani specials: HBO will debut a documentary on Monica Lewinsky, “Monica in Black and White,” on Sunday, March 3, following the second-season premiere of “Six Feet Under.” Ms. Lewinsky burst into tears last week during the HBO portion of the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., after TV critics hounded her with questions about the reasoning behind her participation in the documentary. Questions included why she didn’t “crawl into a hole and disappear forever.” A shocked Ms. Lewinsky turned to an HBO executive, proclaiming, “You told me they were going to be nice.” Ms. Lewinsky said she was unable to answer questions about how much money HBO was paying her for the special and how she felt about her name becoming a punch line. In the documentary, Ms. Lewinsky is taped discussing her experiences before a live audience at Cooper Union in New York City.
HBO also said it will run a one-hour documentary about New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the events of Sept. 11, titled “In Memoriam: September 11, 2001, New York City,” on Sunday, May 26, during Memorial Day weekend.
CNN signs Larry King for four more years: CNN finalized a four-year, $30 million contract renewal with talk-show host Larry King, according to Jamie Kellner, Turner Broadcasting System chairman. Although he would not comment on the particulars of the deal, Mr. Kellner did acknowledge that Mr. King’s deal will include limited use of the AOL Time Warner corporate jet and stock options in the company. In addition, Walter Isaacson, chairman and CEO of the CNN News Group, said the network has hired former MTV VJ Serena Altschul and former host of ABC’s “The Mole” Anderson Cooper as news correspondents.
USA launching new series: In mid-June, USA Network will launch “The Dead Zone,” a new series based on the Stephen King novel of the same title. Anthony Michael Hall will star. In addition, the cable network will premiere the two-hour movie “Monk” in June, starring Tony Shalhoub of “Wings” fame. USA said it is considering turning the concept into a series as well.
Comedy Central plans first original movie: Comedy Central Films, the newly launched movie division at the cable network, announced that its first made-for-TV movie, “Porn n’ Chicken,” is in development to air in the fourth quarter of 2002. The film will tell the story of a secret society at Yale University where students met every Saturday night to eat fried chicken and watch porno flicks. The society eventually amassed more than 100 members and planned to produce and direct a full-length pornographic movie called “The StaXXX,” which is a reference to the main library at Yale. That movie was never finished.
WE snags `Felicity’ off-net: WE: Women’s Entertainment said it has acquired the rights to run 88 episodes of The WB’s “Felicity,” starting in October. In addition, WE will air a documentary hosted by Linda Ellerbee called “When I Was a Girl” at 8 p.m. (ET) March 31. The show features interviews with female celebrities, who will talk about their childhoods.