Hollywood Notes

Mar 4, 2002  •  Post A Comment

`Watching Ellie’ watched by 18-49 demo
Could Julia Louis-Dreyfus be the first to break the post-“Seinfeld” jinx? Benefiting from an Olympic-sized promo push and a “Frasier” lead-in, Ms. Louis-Dreyfus’ premiere in NBC’s “Watching Ellie” broke out with winning ratings in the adults 18 to 49 demographic. “Watching Ellie” posted a winning 7.1 rating/17 share in the demo at 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (ET) last Tuesday, improving 42 percent on its repeat “Frasier” lead-in (5.0/13), according to Nielsen Media Research.
“Watching Ellie’s” early jump out of the gates had it improving the time period by 92 percent over the 3.7 rating that sitcoms such as “Three Sisters” have been pulling in the time slot this season. Compared with “Three Sisters”’ 3.2/8 average in adults 18 to 49, “Watching Ellie’s” first returns in the demo marked 122 percent improvement.
NBC Enterprises, MGM form sales firm
NBC Enterprises and MGM Worldwide Television Distribution have created a new media sales company, MGM/NBC Media Sales Group, to oversee all barter sales efforts for their respective off-network series and first-run syndication programming. The venture will be based in New York and led by MGM Media Sales Executive VP Michael Daraio. Its oversight of barter sales activities will begin immediately, combining NBC Enterprises’ and MGM’s off-network and first-run syndicated programming, including first-run talk strip “The John Walsh Show,” upcoming action hour “B.A.I.T.,” the weekend news program with Chris Matthews and MGM’s sci-fi adventure series “Stargate SG-1.”
`Job’ gets overtime on Comedy Central
ABC’s “The Job,” the critically acclaimed dramedy starring Denis Leary as a profane, cigarette-smoking, seen-it-all New York cop, will get a limited run this week on Comedy Central, at 11:30 p.m. (ET) Monday through March 7, following “The Daily Show.” The four-day late-night run will be followed by a two-hour, four-episode “Job” marathon on Sunday, March 10. Telecasting the ABC series is a “low-risk experiment for us to see how well an on-brand, off-network comedy/drama series like `The Job’ will perform on Comedy Central,” said Bill Hilary, the cable network’s executive VP and general manager, calling it a “format we are developing for the future.”
Kellner to keynote Promax & BDA
Jamie Kellner, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, will give the opening keynote address at the Promax & BDA convention in Los Angeles on June 26. Promax & BDA President and CEO Glynn Brailsford said the keynote address will be followed by a panel of top TV industry executives, including NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker; Marc Goldstein, president, national broadcasting and programming, MindShare North America; and Ari Emanuel, founding partner of Endeavor.
Short takes
“Entertainment Tonight” personality Jann Carl signed a new multiyear deal with the strip. Currently in her seventh season with the show, Ms. Carl becomes primary substitute anchor for Mary Hart and will continue to serve as weekend anchor and correspondent under her new deal. … Sherilyn Fenn, best known for star turns in ABC’s former “Twin Peaks” drama and the movie “Boxing Helena,” will guest star on The WB’s “Dawson’s Creek” this season and in the network’s drama pilot “Birds of Prey.” … Nextel Communications will be the sole underwriter of “9/11,” the March 10 CBS broadcast of an “eyewitness story” of video taken on Sept. 11 around and inside the World Trade Center from the moment of the first hijacked plane’s impact. The two-hour program, which is built from video shot by documentary makers and brothers Gedeon and Jules Naudet, will air without commercials or promotional announcements.