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Aug 26, 2002  •  Post A Comment

‘Heart’ changes host: Jagger returns
Chris Jagger will return as host of Telepictures Productions’ “Change of Heart” this fall as the show enters its fifth season. He replaces Lynne Koplitz, who hosted the 2001-02 season. Mr. Jagger was the host of the series for its first three seasons. Telepictures will use the host swap in its on-air promotional campaign, with both Ms. Koplitz and Mr. Jagger appearing in the spots. “We had a `change of heart’ and decided to bring Jagger back,” said Ed Glavin, the show’s executive producer. “Audiences love him. We had a good run with Lynne, but it was clear that Jagger was a tough act to follow.”
WNBC renews court shows through 2006
All it took was a strong opening week from “Judge Joe Brown” on WNBC-TV last week to get the New York TV station to open its pocketbook. Just days after “Judge Joe” moved over from WCBS-TV to NBC’s flagship station, Paramount Domestic Television closed renewal deals with WNBC on that show and sister court strip “Judge Judy” through 2006. John Nogawski, president of Paramount Domestic Television, acknowledged that WNBC hiked its payments on license fees “somewhat,” but declined to divulge specific figures for both “Judge Joe” and “Judge Judy.” “The deal just made a lot of strategic sense for WNBC, because they’ve got the two highest-rated courtroom strips locked up for another four seasons,” he said.
Double runs of “Joe” on WNBC started out at a 4.3 rating/12 share household average on Aug. 19, then moved up 12 percent to a 4.8/13 the next day in WNBC’s 3 p.m.-to-4 p.m. (ET) time slot. Mr. Nogawski said Paramount will be opening up “Judge Joe” and “Judge Judy” renewal talks on a market-by-market basis during the next few weeks.
`Montel’ upgrades, changes stations
Entering its 12th season in syndication, Paramount Domestic Television’s “The Montel Williams Show” has secured time-period upgrades and station changes in three major markets: San Francisco, Atlanta and Columbus, Ohio. In San Francisco, “Montel” is moving from a 1 p.m.-to-2 p.m. time slot on UPN affiliate KBHK-TV to a 4 p.m. slot airing on Fox affiliate KTVU-TV this fall. In Atlanta, “Montel” goes from an 11 a.m. airing on NBC affiliate WXIA-TV to a 10 a.m. berth on ABC affiliate WSB-TV. In Columbus, the talk show moves from a 10 a.m. slot on CBS affiliate WBNS-TV to 4 p.m. early fringe airings on NBC-owned WCMH-TV.
NBC orders `A.U.S.A.’
Twentieth Television’s “A.U.S.A.” sitcom has been given a 13-episode midseason pickup from NBC. The series, originally developed as a single-camera sitcom for a fall 2002 launch and subsequently reshot in a multicamera format, was created by Rich Appel, a former writer-producer on “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill.” It stars Scott Foley, formerly of The WB’s “Felicity,” as a young lawyer joining the Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York. No time period has been set for the show.
Stahl working double-time
CBS News correspondent Lesley Stahl will do double duty this season. She has been named the anchor of “48 Hours Investigates,” an assignment in addition to her reporting full time for “60 Minutes.” Ms. Stahl succeeds “Evening News” anchor and “60 Minutes II” correspondent Dan Rather as the iconic presence on “48 Hours,” which is going into its 16th season with a new on-air look and a focus on “high-impact” stories, ranging from unsolved crimes to intricate scams.
WB airing high-def shows in fall
HDTV is coming to The WB this fall when Tribune Broadcasting and The WB begin broadcasting five hours per week of original high-definition programming starting Sept. 12. The shows include “Family Affair,” “Everwood,” “Reba” and “Smallville.” Since “Smallville” and “Everwood” will air twice a week, the Sunday telecasts will also run in HD.
Station moves
Joel Cheatwood, executive VP of news for the Viacom stations group as well as news director at WCBS-TV in New York, now will oversee news research and special projects for the group. Replacing him as head of the news operations at WCBS is Dianne Doctor, who has been named VP and news director of the flagship station. Ms. Doctor was VP and news director at WNBC-TV, New York. … Valari Dobson Staab has been named president and general manager of KGO-TV in San Francisco. She was president and general manager of ABC-owned WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.