Breaking News Archives

Aug 1, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Posted Thursday, Aug. 1

NFL legend Summerall hospitalized

Pat Summerall, the veteran lead play-by-play announcer for Fox’s National Football League telecasts, has been hospitalized since Tuesday in Los Angeles for unspecified “minor internal bleeding,” Fox confirmed. Mr. Summerall was attending Fox Sports’ annual seminar to prepare for the upcoming fall football season.

Network officials said he began experiencing pain and internal bleeding early Tuesday morning, just before he reported for the seminar. Mr. Summerall, 72, suffered a bleeding ulcer in 1990, but a Fox Sports spokesman said the hospital and his family have yet to confirm the exact source of his this recent illness.

In a statement from Fox, the network said Mr. Summerall’s bleeding has been “controlled” and he’s “resting comfortably.” Fox expects him to be released by this weekend.

“I’m anxious to get back to Dallas, and I look forward to visiting the Cowboys’ training camp next week,” Mr. Summerall was quoted as saying in the statement.

Pilots, series benefit from Film California First rebates: Governor Gray Davis today announced a broad assortment of 2002-03 television pilots that have benefited from the state’s one-of-a-kind Film California First rebate incentive program. Fall pilots “Fastlane” (Fox), “Firefly” (Fox), “Boomtown” (NBC) and “Push, Nevada” (ABC) have all applied for production rebates.

Administered by the California Film Commission, Film California First was established in 2001 as part of Governor Davis’ efforts to keep production in the Golden State. A unique multimillion dollar incentive program, FCF reimburses certain film costs, up to $300,000 per project, incurred by a qualified production company when filming on public property. The program rebates the cost of public labor, excluding local police, and greatly reduces location site fees for filming on public property.

“Film California First incentives continue to provide California with a competitive edge in attracting new television shows,” Gov. Davis said in a prepared statement. “We are pleased that so many new episodic television series choose to make their home here.”

“Film California First has not only saved our production money for shooting in California, but the operation of the program itself has been efficient and effective in ensuring a quick rebate,” added Michael Walbrecht, VP of studio and production affairs for Warner Bros. Television, the studio behind Fox’s “Fastlane” drama. “Considering the amount of location work on a fast-paced show like ‘Fastlane,’ it makes the Film California First program that much more valuable to us.”

In addition to these pilots, some midseason series that have applied for rebates from FCF include “Miracles” (ABC), “Mister Sterling” (NBC), “Septuplets” (Fox), “A.U.S.A.” (NBC) and “Rush” (CBS). The state film commission estimates that combined FCF rebates for new pilots total nearly $235,000 to date.

Returning series on this season’s lineup that benefited from FCF include “The Guardian” (CBS), “24” (Fox), “Alias” (ABC), “The District” (CBS), “Bernie Mac” (FOX), “CSI” (CBS), “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (UPN), “Six Feet Under” (HBO) and “Charmed” (The WB) among others.

In a move that could lessen the impact of the incentive program, government officials from the city and county of Los Angeles have recently debated about attaching new “license fees” for TV productions shooting in the Southern California area. Those renewed efforts to bring more money into the local tax coffers could negate the state’s effort to keep “runaway” productions from going to other states, Canada, Mexico or overseas.

For more information on the FCF program, visit the California Film Commission’s interactive web site at www.filmcafirst.com.

Kids’ WB! plans fall preview: Kids’ WB! is jump starting its 2002-03 season with the premiere of the new Latin-themed comedy “°Mucha Lucha!” on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. (ET). In addition to “°Mucha Lucha!” joining the new Saturday morning lineup, “Yu-Gi-Oh!” (8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.) and “PokÈmon: Johto League Champions” (10 a.m.) will air never-before-seen episodes to kick off the fall season.

Kids’ WB!’s fall 2002 schedule begins Sept. 14 (with the schedule to be announced later). Beginning Saturday, Aug. 17, Kids’ WB!’s new Saturday summer lineup is: 8:00 a.m., “Yu-Gi-Oh!”; 8:30 a.m., “Static Shock”; 9:00 a.m., “Jackie Chan Adventures”; 9:30 a.m., “Jackie Chan Adventures”; 10:00 a.m., “PokÈmon: Johto League Champions”; 10:30 a.m., “°Mucha Lucha!”; 11:00 a.m., “Yu-Gi-Oh!”; 11:30 a.m., “X-Men: Evolution.”

‘Idol’ keeps scoring for Fox: Wednesday has turned out to be a reality slugfest between three of the Big 4 networks this summer, with Fox taking a slight lead on NBC in that department last night. The live Wednesday edition of “American Idol” set an evening high in the adults 18 to 49 demographic (4.9 rating/14 share), according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research fast national data.”Idol” still managed to improve 14 percent from its week-ago Wednesday score in the key demo (4.3/12). Last night’s “Idol” airing also beat the last half-hour of CBS’s “Big Brother 3” among adults 18 to 49 by a 17 percent margin (4.9/14 vs. 4.2/12) and edged it out in total viewers (10.03 million vs. 9.72 million).

NBC’s growing love affair with reality series also had its “Meet My Folks” tying Fox’s “30 Seconds to Fame” at 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. among adults 18 to 49 (both at 2.9/11 scores), but taking the 8:30 p.m.-to-9 p.m. frame by an 80 percent margin over Fox’s “Meet the Marks” (3.6/12 vs. 2.0/7).

It was a mixed outing for Fox, with “30 Seconds” picking up 7 percent in adults 18 to 49 compared with its previous week’s outing (2.7/10), while “Meet the Marks” dropped 9 percent (2.2/7) during the same span. NBC, meanwhile, was down by 3 percent week to week with “Meet My Folks” (3.4/11). Fox ending up winning the night in adults 18 to 49 (3.3/11), followed by NBC (3.2/10), CBS (2.9/9) and ABC (2.7/8). However, NBC edged out CBS in total viewers (9.27 million vs. 8.54 million) and households (6.5/12 vs. 5.8/10).

CBS takes three ‘Family’ honors: The 4th Annual Family Television Awards, held last night in Beverly Hills, Calif., and to be broadcast by ABC on Friday, Aug. 9 (9 p.m. to 11 p.m., ET), honored shows for their contributions to family entertainment. The Family Television Awards, in which advertisers select the honorees, bestowed three wins on CBS, with “The Guardian” voted best new series and star Simon Baker best actor. CBS also picked up a best movie award for “The Rosa Parks Story.” Among other award winners: The WB’s “7th Heaven” series nabbed the best family drama trophy, while best actress went to Alexis Bledel of “Gilmore Girls”; ABC picked up a pair of trophies, earning the best comedy award for “My Wife and Kids” and best animated special honors for the miniseries “Dinotopia”; Special series honors went to PBS’s freshman “American Family” drama, which revolves around a Hispanic-American family living in East Los Angeles.

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-formed to encourage the TV networks, studios, writers and producers to create and air more programs for the whole family to view together.

Frons tapped to head ABC Daytime: ABC has named Brian Scott Frons, a veteran executive of London-based SBS Broadcasting, to serve as president of ABC Daytime effective Aug. 26. Mr. Frons will be based in Los Angeles and succeeds Angela Shapiro, who was promoted to president of the ABC Family cable network earlier this year. In his new position Mr. Frons will be responsible for all aspects of daytime programming on ABC, including such current series as “The View,” “Port Charles,” “All My Children,” “One Life to Live” and “General Hospital.” ABC claims to hold the No. 1 ranking in the key women 18 to 49 demographic for 25 consecutive years in the daypart.

Mr. Frons most recently served as senior VP of programming for SBS Broadcasting, where he oversaw a
ll programming, promotion and research operations for 12 SBS owned-and-operated channels reaching about 125 million European viewers.

In the daytime programming arena, Mr. Frons has held various executive positions at NBC Entertainment and CBS Entertainment. In addition to developing, promoting or overseeing numerous series, Mr. Frons was instrumental to the launch of “The Soap Opera Digest Awards.”

In other related personnel moves, Orlando Reece has been promoted to VP of integrated sales for ABC Unlimited, a special vertically integrated sales unit for ABC and various Disney-owned cable networks. In his new position Mr. Reece will be responsible for selling all cross-platform deals between Disney and its subsidiaries to the advertising community and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the sales managers and directors of ABC Unlimited. He will report to Bill Bund, senior VP president of ABC Unlimited. He most recently served as a senior account executive and director of integrated sales for the ABC.

Cablevision adds digital movie, theater channels: New York-area Cablevision digital subscribers can now learn about and buy tickets for the latest movies and Broadway shows, courtesy of Hollywood Media Corp.’s Totally Hollywood TV and Totally Broadway TV, two new digital channels.

Totally Hollywood TV details which movies are playing where and when, and allows consumers to purchase tickets. The channel also offers on-demand previews, trailers and interviews. Totally Broadway TV also offers tickets, as well as information about shows and actors, theater showtimes and schedules, a directory of locations for Broadway shows, previews and other footage. The company is also planning to launch the channels nationally.#