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Hollywood Notes

Jul 15, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Krantz opens shop at Warner Bros.
Tony Krantz, who decided to exit last month as co-partner and CEO of Imagine Television after five years at the Ron Howard- and Brian Grazer-led studio, has set out a production shingle at Warner Bros. Television. The yet-to-be-named company begins its tenure on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif., effective immediately. The three-year deal provides Mr. Krantz with a discretionary development fund, overhead and staffing to develop and produce prime-time TV series.
PTC settles wrestling lawsuit
The head of the Parents Television Council, a media watchdog group that opposes sex, violence and so-called “coarse language” on television, has published a personal letter of apology on the organization’s Web site as part of an out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit brought by World Wrestling Entertainment. As part of the settlement, WWE, formerly known as the World Wrestling Federation, will receive $3.5 million, according to a WWE statement. A PTC spokeswoman declined to comment.
The lawsuit centered around PTC’s now-retracted contentions, made both publicly and to WWE advertisers, that children “mimicking `professional wrestling’ moves they saw on television” had been responsible for the deaths of other children. That claim also had been advanced as part of the defense in the trial of 12-year-old Lionel Tate, who was convicted in 2001 in Florida of the murder of 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick. The Tate case defense was specifically cited by the PTC in its campaign against the WWE.
In his public letter of apology, L. Brent Bozell, PTC’s head, said, “I now believe that professional wrestling played no role in the murder of Tiffany Eunick, which was a part of our `Clean Up TV Now!’ [fund-raising] campaign and am equally convinced that it was incorrect and wrong to have blamed WWE or any of its programs for the deaths of the other children.”
Promax Ratings Roadshow selling out
Promax & BDA has announced that all seats at the first two venues for its initial Ratings Roadshow have sold out. The series of one-day workshops set in four major television markets during the next two weeks will likely sell out its New York and Atlanta dates as well. Created for local station members, each Ratings Roadshow date will feature sessions on building audiences, boosting ratings, maximizing revenue and evaluating the industry’s most effective promos and ads, including successful news and weather spots.
Rainbow greenlights N.Y. dating show
Rainbow Media’s MetroTV subsidiary has given the green light to a second season of “To Live and Date in New York,” its reality-based look at the Big Apple singles scene that follows real New York single women as they navigate through swanky nightspots with real blind dates. The new order is for eight one-hour episodes. The new season, produced with September Films, a company specializing in documentaries and reality-based projects, will air locally on MetroTV in the spring of 2003 and then go national on sister channel WE: Women’s Entertainment in fall 2003. WE also is in production on “Single in LA,” a companion project set for summer 2003.
Short takes
Hilary Estey McLoughlin has been promoted to executive VP and general manager of Telepictures Productions, with day-to-day operations. She was senior VP, programming and development. … Jennifer Nicholson Salke, most recently a senior drama development executive at Columbia TriStar Television, has been named as 20th Century Fox Television’s senior VP of drama. …Erin Gough-Wehrenberg and Jeff Ingold, who were VPs of current programming at NBC Entertainment, were promoted to VP slots in the comedy development department. Angela Bromstad, previously VP of drama development, was promoted to senior VP of drama development.