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Sep 5, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Posted Thursday, Sept. 5

NBC plans Telemundo station in Boston

NBC plans to use WPXB-TV, the Merrimack, N.H., station for which it has agreed to pay Paxson Communications $26 million in cash, to give the Boston market its first full-power owned-and-operated Telemundo station.

“Increasing Telemundo’s presence in top Hispanic markets is a high priority for NBC,” said Jay Ireland, president of NBC Television Stations Division. Boston is the sixth-largest TV market in the country, and its Hispanic population is estimated at 100,000 and growing.

The station currently carries ShopNBC, the home-shopping service in which NBC has a 40 percent stake, and may continue to do so for a while.

‘Idol’ ends on high note: Wednesday’s night grand finale of “American Idol” closed with a bang, with the expanded two-hour episode (8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET) giving Fox a best-ever score in adults 18 to 49 and its second-best number of total viewers (excluding sports events).

“Idol” dominated last night’s TV landscape, growing 57 percent from its first to last half-hours (8.2 rating/26 vs. 12.9/32) to finish Wednesday with a 10.6/32 score in the key adults 18 to 49 demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research fast national data. Highlighted by rising star Kelly Clarkson win over Justin Guarini in the final voting in the sing-off, “Idol’s” adults 18 to 49 score marked 14 percent from improvement from the previous night’s (Tuesday) personal-best (9.3/14) and a 28 percent jump from its week-ago Wednesday average (8.3/23).

In Fox’s core adults 18 to 34 demo, “Idol’s” 12.1/35 average marked an 18 percent jump in the previous night’s personal-best score (10.2/29), while also improving 31 percent on its week-ago score (8.9/27). For its 8 p.m.-to-10 p.m. broadcast, “Idol” also saw its total viewership grow 64 percent from 16.9 million viewers in opening half-hour to crescendo at 27.8 million viewers for final half-hour.

Overall, “Idol” averaged a personal-best 22.5 million total viewers, growing 19 percent from the previous night’s average headcount (18.6 million). Household ratings also topped at a 12.5/21 average last night, up 24 percent from the Tuesday’s hour-long episode (10.5/16).

The preliminary fast national returns from last night, combined with previous final national ratings, put “Idol’s” average among adults 18 to 49 for its Tuesday and Wednesday airings (June 11-Sept. 4) at 6.2/18, making it the highest-rated TV series of the summer. It averaged 12.6 million total viewers and a 7.4/12 household score over its entire summer run.

‘Spy TV’ contestant sues NBC, Endemol: One alleged “victim” of NBC’s “Spy TV” failed to see the humor in the series and has filed a lawsuit with the superior court of California against NBC and Endemol for, among other things; “Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress,” “False Imprisonment,” “Invasion of Privacy” and “Fraud.” The unwitting contestant claims that after being sent on a temp assignment in which her exasperated “boss” received news of his wife leaving, an IRS audit and a police arrest, she received injury to her nervous system and person due to the shock of the program’s “trick.” The event took place last October and the damages requested by the plaintiff have yet to be determined. Studio spokespeople could not be reached for comment.

Fremantle plans more reality fare: FremantleMedia announced Thursday that after the success of Fox’s “American Idol,” the company will continue to expand its North American programming activities with such fare as “Date Squad,” “Real Life Adventure” and “Man vs. Beast” as well as season two of “Idol.” In addition, the company named Jason Daniel head of drama development for FremantleMedia, North America, where he be responsible for the United States expansion and development of drama programming for FremantleMedia.

WB’s ‘Tucson’ SAP-enabled: The WB has joined forces with Big Ticket Television, the series producer of its comedy “Greetings From Tucson,” to broadcast the Hispanic-American family sitcom with a second-channel Spanish-language audio track. “Tucson,” which premieres in the 9:30 p.m.-to-10 p.m. (ET) Friday time slot Sept. 20, will have The WB working in conjunction with its local affiliates to provide Hispanic viewers the opportunity to watch and listen to the new comedy in Spanish via Second Audio Programming (SAP).

From series creator Peter Murrieta, “Greetings from Tucson” is described by WB Entertainment President Jordan Levin as the “first television comedy featuring a Latino family written from the personal experience of a Mexican-American executive producer and creator.”

Seen through the eyes of 15-year-old David (Pablo Santos, “American Family”), “Tucson” is an autobiographical comedy about the challenges of growing up sane in an ethnically mixed, upwardly mobile family.