Hollywood Notes

Feb 11, 2002  •  Post A Comment

`Starhunter’ finds U.S. distributor
The syndicated action-hour business, a one-time thriving market that has fallen on hard times, is about to get a boost with Western International Syndication’s new pact to put “Starhunter” on the air this fall. The domestic distributor has signed with Alliance Atlantis to distribute the upcoming weekly sci-fi series on a barter basis with a 7/7 split. The series follows Michael Pare (“Hope Floats”) as a bounty hunter who cruises through space in pursuit of intergalactic criminals. The series has already had a successful run in Canada, with 22 episodes now ready for U.S. broadcasters. Few syndication companies have forayed into the action-adventure business in recent seasons, with only Tribune’s “The Ultimate Adventure Company” and October Moon’s “Once a Thief” poised to join “Starhunter” for a debut next season.
`Sex’ heats up DGA nominations
Three episodes of HBO’s “Sex and the City” are among the nominees for top honors this year at the 54th annual Directors Guild of America awards. The individual episodes were directed by Allen Coulter, Michael Engler and Michael Patrick King. Joining them in the outstanding comedy category are Todd Holland for Fox’s “Malcolm in the Middle” and James Burrows, whose 18 nominations in his career make him the most nominated director in the DGA’s history, for an episode of NBC’s “Will & Grace.”
The pilot episode of HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” directed by series creator Alan Ball, is among the DGA nominees for outstanding drama. Other nominees include the pilot episode of Fox’s “24,” directed by Steven Hopkins; an episode of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” directed by Steve Buscemi; an episode of NBC’s “The West Wing,” directed by Paris Barclay; and another “West Wing” episode, directed by Thomas Schlamme. Winners will be announced March 9.
Howard, Inouye upped at Tribune
Tribune Entertainment has promoted a pair of executives, with Seth Howard being named VP, scripted programming and development, and Richard Inouye being upped to the newly created position of senior VP, finance and operations, of Tribune Entertainment Co. Mr. Inouye will continue to oversee all financial and administrative activities of Tribune Entertainment as well as Tribune Studios, the company’s new Los Angeles-based studio lot that recently converted to full digital capabilities. Mr. Howard will be responsible for overseeing the development and production of Tribune Entertainment’s new action-hour program “The Ultimate Adventure Company.” Mr. Howard also will continue to be responsible for the production of Tribune Entertainment’s additional action hours, which include “Mutant X” and “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda.”
`Texas Justice’ leads syndie rookies
The race for top freshman first-run strip finally produced a winner among households as Twentieth Television’s “Texas Justice” scored its best rating ever with a 10 percent jump to a 2.3 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research for the week ending Jan. 27. That score finally broke a tie between it and Studios USA’s “Crossing Over With John Edward” since “Justice’s” debut two weeks beforehand. “Crossing Over” took the silver due to a 5 percent slide to a 2.0, with NBC Enterprises’ “Weakest Link” and Telepictures Distribution’s “Elimidate” tying for third place with ratings of 1.7. “Link” was off 6 percent for the period, while “Elimidate” grew 6 percent. Fifth place went to Universal Television’s “The Fifth Wheel,” which grew 7 percent for the week to a 1.5.
Endeavor’s Adelstein starting own firm
Marty Adelstein, one of the five founding partners of the Beverly Hills-based talent agency Endeavor, is leaving the company to start his own talent management firm. Mr. Adelstein said he will expand his interests across the entertainment horizon, creating “a new structure” for an entertainment company. All of Mr. Adelstein’s clients will remain co-represented by Endeavor, where during his tenure he led the rapid development of its television division. Mr. Adelstein’s clients include show creators David E. Kelley and Bonnie and Terry Turner, writer/producer/actor Brad Hall, wrestling star The Rock, and the World Wrestling Federation.