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Hollywood Notes

Jun 24, 2002  •  Post A Comment

‘Shipmates’ sails to second season
“Shipmates,” the syndicated reality show that follows two strangers through a three-day, two-night date aboard a luxury cruise ship, will return for a second season in fall 2002. The strip will start its second year with clearances on stations representing more than 92 percent of the country, including such groups as Fox, Paramount and News Web. Stations include Fox’s WNYW-TV in New York; KTTV, Los Angeles; and WPWR-TV, Chicago.
DeMesquita leaves William Morris
Don DeMesquita, a veteran 30-year TV public relations executive and a senior VP of worldwide PR for the William Morris Agency, is departing after four years of service with the Beverly Hills, Calif., talent and literary agency. Mr. DeMesquita will leave June 28. No immediate replacement has been named. Mr. DeMesquita, who is WMA’s principal spokesman and overseer of communications, media relations and advertising, described the terms of his departure as being “completely amicable and on good parting terms. It’s a great job, great company, and it has great people, but it’s time for me to move on,” he said. Mr. DeMesquita said he plans to take a long-planned vacation to Europe in July and will then study his career options upon his return stateside next month.
Green back in `Law & Order’ fold
Walon Green, an Emmy-, Oscar- and Peabody Award-winning writer-producer, has been signed to an overall series deal with Wolf Films and Barry Diller’s Universal Television. Mr. Green’s new deal-representing a reunion with “Law & Order” franchise creator Dick Wolf-has him set to serve as a consultant on NBC’s “Law & Order” and Mr. Wolf’s upcoming revival of “Dragnet.” Mr. Green was an executive producer of “Law & Order” from 1992-94.
Warner Bros. launches support Web site
Warner Bros. Corporate Marketing and Advertising, the creative division that supports first-run and off-network programming from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and Telepictures, will launch a full-service online marketing support Web site, www.wbmktg.com, on Monday, allowing clients to access digital assets, including photos, TV Guide ads, show logos, synopses, loglines and co-op forms specific to the Warner Bros. programming carried by their station.
ABC Family adds `My Life Is a Sitcom’
A new so-called “reality” program headed for the ABC Family channel will enmesh not only average Americans but also the TV show’s writers and producers behind the scenes. ABC Family has ordered 13 half-hour episodes of “My Life Is a Sitcom,” a prime-time reality series from Nash Entertainment (“TV Road Trip”). The show is pegged for a January 2003 debut. The series will follow the show’s actual writers and producers on a search for a real-life family to star as themselves in a sitcom based on their lives. In the process there will be a nationwide casting call for tape submissions from families and visits to candidates’ hometowns by writers and producers who will narrow the competition to nine families. Following that, more families will be eliminated until the final two are flown to Los Angeles for screen tests. The 13-episode order culminates with the scripted series “pilot,” complete with actors playing the parts of co-workers and friends.
Short takes
Veteran television producer Bo Banks has been tapped as the new executive producer of Telepictures Productions’ “Judge Mathis.” Bo Banks joins “Judge Mathis” from her post as VP, programming, Telepictures Productions. … David Anders, who had a recurring role in the freshman season of ABC’s “Alias,” is set to join as a regular cast member next season. Mr. Anders returns as the young and wildly ambitious free-lance spy, Mr. Sark.