Briefly Noted

Jul 8, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Suspect nabbed after ‘Power, Privilege’ profile
It’s not yet “America’s Most Wanted,” but “Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege and Justice,” Court TV’s new series that recently premiered to high ratings, has already notched its first captured fugitive.
Just two weeks after James Sullivan was profiled on the show’s first episode as the Palm Beach society wannabe who 15 years ago allegedly hired a hit man to kill his wife, Lita, an African American woman who, according to “PP&J,” he claimed was “preventing him from reaching the highest echelons of local society,” the fugitive was nabbed by police at a beachfront hotel in Phetchaburi, Thailand.
The arrest of Mr. Sullivan, who has been on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most-wanted list, was made at the FBI’s request, according to an account in the Bangkok Post.
`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 musical “Buffy” episode, “Once More With Feeling,” according to a report on TV Guide Online.
The episode was written by “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon, who has long battled for Emmy recognition.
An ATAS spokesman cited “human error” as the reason the sweeps episode was omitted from the ballot. “We sent out a notification to the voters, which allowed them to cast their vote [for `Once More with Feeling’] almost immediately,” he said. “The situation was rectified ASAP, and there were no repercussions from it.” However, Emmy experts said that the postcard’s instructions were so complicated many voters may not take the time or effort to understand it.
The mishap did 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.
Showtime sets up affiliate extranet
Showtime Networks plans to launch today an extranet at www.shoinfo.com, designed to provide business information to and communicate with its affiliates.
The so-called “virtual business office” should eliminate hard copy and paperwork and replace that material with more targeted information, said Dave Mitchell, director of online business services for Showtime.
Cable systems needing logos, copy blocks or information about programs will be able to access such material on the extranet rather than through the mail. Affiliates can also request direct mail pieces they do wish to receive through the site. Ad kits and ad reels will also be available online.
“One of the things we heard from affiliates was by sending a lot of material we weren’t being specific about what we were sending,” Mr. Mitchell said.
The site aims to rectify that by providing profiles for users so that marketing or engineering employees, for instance, at the system will only see the information appropriate to their jobs. “We create a view for you online that reflects your responsibilities within the company,” he said. For instance, customer service representatives in the call center will view a page with programming information, answers to frequently asked questions and selling tips.
The site will also include up-to-date programming and scheduling changes. Showtime has beta tested the site with 50 affiliates during the past few weeks and plans to launch a marketing campaign to introduce systems to the site today.
Ad-supported cable reaches milestone
June 2002 will go into the record books as the first time ad-supported cable has surpassed the 50 prime-time share level on a full-month basis. Cable’s aggregate 54.0 prime-time average household share in June, up almost 6 points from the same month last year, beat the seven broadcast networks (the Big 4, The WB, UPN and Pax) by 15.6 share points, according to data from the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau.
For the repeat-laden month, the broadcast networks were down 2.1 million homes, 2.7 rating points and 5 share points from the same period last year, according to the CAB.
Hot Tamales for Western International
Western International Syndication has tapped Kiki Melendez’s Latin Hollywood Films to open new doors for the company’s entertainment arm. Western has signed a deal to develop a variety of projects for “Hot Tamales Live,” the all-female variety show now playing at the Hollywood Improv in Los Angeles. The agreement includes plans for motion picture, television, home video and DVD releases, along with a national tour. The first project under the new agreement is a home video and DVD release of the “Hot Tamales Live” performance. Western has set a summer 2002 street date for a feature-length home video and DVD sell-through release. Television projects now under development are targeted at fall 2003.