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Briefly Noted

Sep 23, 2002  •  Post A Comment

HBO, NBC lead Creative Arts Emmys
MTV’s “The Osbournes” was named outstanding reality program Sept. 14 at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which focuses primarily on the tech categories.
Leading the network pack at the awards ceremony was HBO with 16 awards, including five for “Six Feet Under,” and NBC with 15, including six for its “Opening Ceremony Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games.”
Acting winners included Anthony LaPaglia as outstanding guest actor in a comedy, for an episode of NBC’s “Frasier”; Cloris Leachman as outstanding guest actress in a comedy, for an episode of Fox’s “Malcolm in the Middle”; Charles Dutton as outstanding guest actor in a drama, for an episode of ABC’s “The Practice”; and Patricia Clarkson as outstanding guest actress in a drama, for an episode of HBO’s “Six Feet Under.”
A&E’s “Biography” was named outstanding nonfiction series, while CBS’s “9/11” was named outstanding nonfiction special.
Programs that won more than one award at the ceremony were “Opening Ceremony Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games” (6), “Six Feet Under” (5), “Band of Brothers” (4), “Frasier” (3), “Alias” (2), “Animated Tales of the World” (2), “Blue Planet: Seas of Life” (2), “Enterprise” (2), “9/11” (2), “Sex and The City” (2), “Shackleton” (2) and “Will and Grace” (2).
For a complete list of winners, visit emmys.org/primetime/2002 /2002awards.html.
Columbia TriStar Domestic TV gets new name
Sony’s television division got a reshuffling as Columbia TriStar Domestic Television was renamed Sony Pictures Television. In addition, the company made two key appointments to its sales division. It named Steve Maddox senior VP, Southeast Region, where he will now oversee the sales offices in Atlanta and Dallas. Jeff Wolf is the new senior VP of syndication/business development and will oversee the offices in New York and Chicago.
Martial arts network planned
The martial arts, which tend to attract the tough-to-reach young male crowd, are getting their own 24-7 cable network, Blackbelt TV, scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2003.
Six of 10 major multiple system operators have agreed to carry the new network, which is backed by the producers of “Mortal Kombat,” according to a network spokeswoman, though contracts have not yet been signed. The ad-supported network will launch with a nearly 15,000-hour library, including feature films from Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Blackbelt also plans to telecast kickboxing from Thailand, martial arts from Japan, boxing from Europe and America and judo from Korea, along with health and fitness and self-defense programming and Japanese anime.
Primary investors in Blackbelt TV include Threshold Entertainment, Fusient Media Ventures and Sirius Investment Corp.
McEwen exits as `Early Show’ morphs
Weatherman-entertainment editor Mark McEwen is the next personality set to leave “The Early Show.” The date of his departure has not been locked in.
It is uncertain what will happen to weather segments under the morning show’s long-awaited format changes, which increasingly are expected to result in an ensemble that shares segments, a la “The View” on ABC.
Informed sources insisted that the ensemble will include former NBC Sports personality Hannah Storm and “Biography” host Harry Smith. Ms. Storm’s agent declined to comment, as did Mr. Smith’s attorney. The same sources said that “Early” news reader (and “Big Brother” host) Julie Chen also would be part of this “View”-ish ensemble.
Mr. McEwen survived each of the program’s numerous talent, format and title changes since he joined what was then called “This Morning” as a weather reporter in early 1987. He was given the additional title of popular music editor in 1988 and was named entertainment editor in 1992. He had been talking about branching out for some time, and he might yet end up doing other projects within the CBS or broader Viacom families, sources said.
Johnson named news director of WNBC
WNBC-TV has named Barbara Johnson its news director effective Sept. 23. Ms. Johnson most recently was executive producer of the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts across town at WABC-TV, where she worked for Dan Forman. Mr. Forman recently returned to WNBC as VP of news and station manager. Ms. Johnson joined the ABC flagship station in 1991 after three years at WUSA-TV in Washington.
NBC’s `Files’ run boosts Court ratings
The repurposing of Court TV’s “Forensic Files” on NBC paid off handsomely, driving record numbers of viewers back to Court TV and making the Sept. 12 “Forensic” episode on Court the single-highest-rated telecast in the cable network’s history. The episode, “A Bitter Pill to Swallow,” delivered a 1.8 household rating, attracting 1.77 million viewers.