Hollywood Notes

Apr 1, 2002  •  Post A Comment

ABC cancels `Once and Again’
Citing ongoing ratings problems, ABC has decided to cancel the critically received drama “Once and Again,” setting Monday, April 15, as its final airdate. Announcement of the series finale, though not entirely unexpected, comes amid a consistent viewer and activist group write-in campaign to keep the 3-year-old series-from executive producers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick-in first-run production. In adults 18 to 49 this season, “Once and Again” is averaging a 2.8 rating/8 share, off 33 percent from its comparable year-ago average (4.2/11) and currently ranking it 90th out of 173 regularly scheduled programs. It has averaged 6.5 million total viewers (ranking 107th), down 24 percent from an 8.9 million average head count last season. The decision to ax “Once and Again,” which has run on a handful of different nights during its three seasons before settling back into the 10 p.m. (ET) Monday time slot last January, is entirely based on its ratings, an ABC spokeswoman said.
Nogawski named president of Paramount
John Nogawski has been promoted to president of Paramount Domestic Television, where he will now oversee marketing, promotion, research and finance, along with Paramount Advertiser Services and all of the division’s distribution activities. The 19-year Paramount veteran most recently served as president of distribution for the company.
Midseason March Madness
Last week was a busy one when it comes to midseason series debuts, especially for ABC and Fox. Fox’s new Wednesday sitcom “Greg The Bunny” pulled a 4.8 rating/12 share average among adults 18 to 49, outdrawing ABC’s competing “Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central)” sitcom (3.1/8) by a 55 percent margin, according to Nielsen Media Research. “Greg” improved 7 percent on its proven “Bernie Mac” lead-in (4.5/12) and improved the time slot by 60 percent over what “Titus” averaged (3.0/8) a week earlier.
ABC’s Wednesday premiere of the new “George Lopez” family comedy won its time slot in adults 18 to 49 (3.8/11), retaining 95 percent of its “My Wife & Kids” lead-in. The sitcom also proved a winning draw in other key demo measures, including women 18 to 49 (4.7/13), women 18 to 34 (4.5/13) and kids 2 to 11 (2.7/10). ABC also got a promising first outing from “The Bachelor,” a new romance-based reality series premiering in the 9 p.m.-to-10 p.m. Monday time slot. “The Bachelor” drew a second-ranked 4.0/9 share among adults 18 to 49 and 9.9 million total viewers.
The news wasn’t as good for ABC’s 10 p.m.-to-11 p.m. Tuesday debut of “The Court.” The Sally Field-led drama drew a competitive, third-ranked 3.5/9 score in adults 18 to 49, though it was down a tick from “Philly’s” prior-week 3.6/10 score. Nevertheless, it still drew 10.1 million viewers to give ABC its best audience delivery in the time slot in seven weeks.
`West Wing’ creator joins Promax lineup
The Promax & BDA convention in Los Angeles June 26 to 29 is shaping up to feature a slew of familiar faces. “The West Wing’s” John Wells will sit on an opening-day television industry panel, joining Fox Television Entertainment Group Chairman Sandy Grushow and HBO Original Programming President Chris Albrecht. Other participants will include NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker; Endeavor talent agency founding partner Ariel Emanuel; and Marc Goldstein, president of national broadcast and programming for MindShare North America. In addition, author, entrepreneur and former Yahoo! VP Seth Godin will host a special marketing session during the conference’s opening day.
Short takes
A 26-year-old male contestant on “Dog Eat Dog,” an NBC reality/game show pilot, was hospitalized March 26 after a stunt in which he held his breath underwater for two minutes went awry. … Buoyed by a slight ratings rebound for “Watching Ellie,” NBC has scheduled two more episodes of the Julia Louis-Dreyfus sitcom for 8:30 p.m.-to-9 p.m. (ET) Tuesday airdates on April 9 and 16.