Hollywood Notes

Apr 8, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Networks cancel midseason shows
As part of an expected midseason purge, UPN and network overseer CBS decided to pull the plug on the repurposed run of “The Amazing Race 2” after it experienced poor ratings and generated complaints from affiliates of both networks. “Amazing Race 2’s” Friday companion reality hour “Under One Roof” is also being axed after two weeks on the air. A spokeswoman for UPN confirmed that the network’s two-hour movie showcase is returning this Friday, with the animated “Space Jam” feature first up for the network. Over its four secondary airings on UPN, “Amazing Race 2” averaged a 0.6 rating/2 share in adults 18 to 49, barely a blip compared with the show’s 5.9/15 average for its original 9 p.m.-to10 p.m. (ET) Wednesday run on CBS.
In other cancellation news, Fox has decided to yank “American Embassy” on the heels of Monday, April 1’s telecast average, a bottom-ranked 2.4/6 in adults 18 to 49. Fox decided to shelve the remaining two episodes of “Embassy’s” six-episode run, replacing it with a movie this Monday and then bringing back “Ally McBeal” in back-to-back episodes April 15.
The WB pulled the plug on “My Guide to Becoming a Rock Star” after two weeks on the air and five airings overall. Also on the chopping block is Sunday’s ratings-challenged “No Boundaries” reality series. Meanwhile, The WB’s “For Your Love” is being rested on Sunday nights to make room for 7 p.m-to-9 p.m. movies, with “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment” and “Off Centre” closing out the night.
`ET’ readies first prime-time special
“Entertainment Tonight” is about to get its first big break into prime-time television. The long-running Paramount Domestic Television strip will have its first prime-time special, titled “Entertainment Tonight Presents: Laverne & Shirley Together Again,” that will reunite the original cast of the hit series on ABC Tuesday, May 7. In addition, the one-hour special will broadcast bloopers, outtakes and other footage plucked from the New Jersey vaults of parent Paramount Pictures, which produced the sitcom.
Midseason glitches for ABC and Fox
Some bumps have appeared on the road for midseason sitcoms on ABC and Fox Wednesday night. In particular, the second-week airings of Fox’s “Greg the Bunny” and ABC’s “Wednesday 9:30 p.m. (8:30 Central)” last week in the 9:30 p.m. (ET) time slot were down by more than 25 percent in adults 18 to 49 from their previous week’s debuts, according to final Nielsen Media Research national data. “Greg the Bunny’s” 3.3 rating/ 8 share average in adults 18 to 49 marked a 31 percent slide from its previous week’s debut average (4.8/12)-although it did hold 94 percent of “Bernie Mac’s” unexpectedly low lead-in score (3.5/9). The puppet show spoof also dropped 24 percent week to week in total viewers (7.7 million vs. 10.1 million).
Also during the frame, “Wednesday 9:30” lived up to its comedic premise about a ratings-challenged network, with the ABC sitcom dropping 26 percent week to week in adults 18 to 49 (2.3/6 vs. 3.1/8) and 23 percent in total viewers (6.1 million vs. 7.9 million). ABC’s new “George Lopez” comedy at 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday fared somewhat better, with its second-ranked 3.5/9 in adults 18 to 49 dropping only 8 percent from its premiere-week score (3.8/11) and “My Wife & Kids”’ winning lead-in (3.8/11).
Adelstein, Moritz production company
Marty Adelstein, who exited as partner of Endeavor, the Hollywood talent agency he co-founded, , has teamed with veteran Hollywood filmmaker Neal Moritz to form a new TV/film production and talent management company billed as Original. Incorporating the film production and TV development assets of Mr. Moritz’s Original Films, the new talent management/production entity is already pitching several major Hollywood studios and in-house network production arms for an exclusive production deal. Sources close to Original’s principals said they have been holding meetings in recent days with NBC and Fox Television Entertainment Group about entering an exclusive series production pact. A spokeswoman for Original said the company declined to comment on the status of the negotiations.