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Jun 28, 2002  •  Post A Comment

‘Buffy’s’ Emmy chances slayed by ‘human error’

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences forgot to add “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to the list of the potential Emmy contenders on this year’s nomination ballots in the drama writing category for last season’s “Buffy” musical episode, “Once more with Feeling,” according to a report at TV Guide Online.

The episode was written by “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon, who has long battled for Emmy recognition.

An ATAS spokesman cites “human error” as why Whedon’s sweeps episode was omitted from the nomination ballot. “We sent out a notification to the voters, which allowed them to caste their vote [for ‘Once More with Feeling’] almost immediately,” he said. “It was basically a supplement to the ballot. The situation was rectified ASAP, and there were no repercussions from it.”

The mishap will not affect “Buffy” in other categories; It’s still listed under best drama, and star Sarah Michelle Gellar is on the list for best actress. But Emmy experts said that postcard’s instructions were so complicated many voters may not take the time or effort to understand it.

“It entailed such an extraordinary effort that it was unlikely the voters would do it even if they loved the episode,” Emmy guru Tom O’Neil told the TV Guide Online. “So it definitely curses its chances.”

Fans of the show have been regularly disappointed by the Emmys.

“Buffy,” one of the most recognizable shows on UPN (and the signature show of the WB Network before it changed channels last year) has been critically praised for it’s deft handling of tough issues facing teenagers.

It’s been nominated for at least several technical production Emmys and won twice in 1998 for best makeup and best dramatic underscore. Yet, aside for a nomination for best writing in the 2000 awards, the show has never been able to score a nomination, much less a win, in a drama category.

It’s about trust at Promax: For the station and creative communities the entertainment business has become about trust, say Promax & BDA convention attendees.

In a John Walsh-hosted session entitled ” 9/11-The Day the World Changed” station concerns about loyalty merged with attendees’ ideas about earning viewing confidence. “We’re clearly in a climate where stations are looking for ways to establish trust with audiences,” said Glynn Brailsford, president and CEO of Promax/BDA. “In this environment where everyone is being asked to do more with less it was imperative for us to help stations learn to reconnect with viewer confidence.”

Meanwhile, the organization confirmed that it would return to Los Angeles for next year’s convention.

Dunne signs for 7 more ‘Power, Privilege and Justice’: Court TV has signed Dominick Dunne for seven additional episodes of “Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege and Justice.”

The documentary series debuted June 19 with a 1.5 rating, a record rating for an original prime-time series on the network.

Author/columnist Dominick Dunne “has become America’s Diogenes of Dark Society,” said Court TV CEO Henry Schleiff, announcing the pickup for the series that throws a spotlight on the intersection of Hollywood, money and crime.

Martin to exec VP of alternatives series for Fox TV Studios: David Martin, the head of television for Fox Australia, has been named executive VP of Fox Alternative Productions, a reality and alternative series production arm of Fox Television Studios.

David Grant, president of Fox Television Studios, announced that Mr. Martin will now oversee the development and production of unscripted, reality and alternative/scripted series for the broadcast network, cable and syndication markets. Such series currently include cable television’s original drama “The Shield” and also third-year comedy “Son of the Beach” for FX; PBS drama “American Family” and Comedy Central’s second-year game show strip “Beat the Geeks.”

Returning to Los Angeles from his native Australia, Mr. Martin comes back to the U.S. creative community he’d worked with for more than 10 years as a leading talent manager, program packager and producer. He has spent the past four years launching and running Fox’s television production business in Australia. Mr. Martin will continue to work with Fox TV Studios sister division Fox World, remaining closely involved with Fox World Australia.

He packaged such programs as Nickelodeon’s animated “Doug” franchise, for which he has earned two Emmy nominations as a producer. Other credits include Comedy Central’s “Mystery Science Theatre 3000,” MTV’s “Super Adventure Team,” “The Big Scarry Movie Show” at Sci-Fi Channel and FX’s former “Bobcat’s Big Ass Show.”

As a talent manager, Mr. Martin’s clients included such comedians and writers as Colin Quinn (“Saturday Night Live”), Caroline Rhea (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch”) and Brett Butler (“Grace Under Fire).

Fox Television Studios, an independent unit of the Fox Entertainment Group, was created in August 1997 to build and invest in independent production, including such “pod” production units as Regency Television and Fox World under its umbrella.

DreamWorks pitches martial arts series ‘Hong Kong Cafe’: DreamWorks Television has entered a distribution deal with independent producers Triage, West End Stories and Fortune STAR on a new hour-long series, “Hong Kong CafÈ,” which is being pitched to the broadcast networks for a future airdate.

“Hong Kong Cafe” is billed as an original series highlighting the action, comedy and adventure of Hong Kong cinema through an extensive clip-licensing agreement with Fortune STAR. The series combines the greatest scenes in Hong Kong action films with a hosted, high-tech interactive set.

In a statement, DreamWorks said the producers will offer the show to broadcast networks in the coming weeks, with production beginning in Los Angeles perhaps as early as July. Development of the show was sparked by the interest in martial arts action films, combined with the new economic realities of network television. “Hong Kong Cafe” is being targeted toward both male and female 18 to 49 demographics.

The series will have access to Fortune STAR’s films library through an extensive clip-licensing agreement between Triage and Fortune STAR, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of STAR Group Limited. Sizzling iconic action films starring crossover martial arts stars Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Chow-Yun Fat, Sammo Hung and Michelle Yeoh and from acclaimed directors John Woo, Ronny Yu, Yuen Woo-Ping, and Corey Yuen are among those featured in the series. Audiences will see action sequences from titles such as John Woo’s “Hand of Death” (starring Jackie Chan), Michelle Yeoh’s “Magnificent Warriors” and Bruce Lee’s “Tower of Death.”

Family Friendly Programming Forum’s ‘Family Television Awards’: The Family Friendly Programming Forum will hold its “4th Annual Family Television Awards” ceremony on ABC Friday, Aug. 9 at 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. (ET). The awards ceremony, emceed by “Hollywood Squares” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos’ host Tom Bergeron, will be held July 31 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The Family Television Awards are an initiative of The Family Friendly Programming Forum, a group of more than 40 major national advertisers-all members of the Association of National Advertisers. The Forum was formed to encourage the TV networks, studios, writers and producers to create and air more programs that the whole family can view together.

Awards will be presented in eight categories: comedy, drama, movies, special series, new series, animated special, actor and actress. The Family Television Awards show will be produced by dick clark productions for the fourth consecutive year.

More stations delivering DTV: The National Association of Broadcasters reported that nine more TV stations across the United States have made the sign-on conversion to digital television signals. The NAB estimates that overall 431 local TV stations are now transmitting digital signals in a total of 130 U.S. markets.

Two of the nine stations (marked with an asterisk) are the first in their markets on air with DTV: CBS affiliate WVLT-TV in Kno
xville, Tenn. (market No. 62); PBS affiliate WGBX-TV in Boston (No. 6); Fox affiliate WZDX-TV in Huntsville, Ala. (No. 83); UPN affiliate WUPA-TV in Atlanta (No. 10); CBS affiliate WIVB-TV* in Buffalo (No. 47; UPN affiliate KSTW-TV in Seattle (market No. 12); CBS affiliate WWMT-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich. (No. 38); PBS affiliate WNET-TV in New York (No. 1); and CBS affiliate WLFI-TV* in Lafayette, Ind. (No. 190).

NAB estimates that the total of the stations offering digital TV represents 87.8 percent of all U.S. TV households. In addition, 45 percent of all U.S. TV households are in markets where broadcasters deliver four or more DTV signals.

AP Television has introduced a collection of 10 different “turnkey” headline news tickers designed to give local TV stations real-time graphics content to supplement their on-air news programming, enhance their on-air look and attract new advertising revenue, according the TV unit of the Associated Press.

Local stations can now take advantage of the same service that national networks have used for years to keep audiences tuned in and up to date. Thousands of AP headlines, written in viewer-friendly style are automatically delivered 24 hours a day. The tickers are updated as stories break and developments unfold. Topical data ranges from U.S. and international news, state news, business, sports, entertainment, technology, health, politics and four Spanish-language news tickers (top stories, entertainment, sports and business).

The headline tickers are for on-air and online use and part of a series of new products developed to help broadcasters extend their on-air station brands beyond the traditional daily newscasts.