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Oct 3, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Posted Thursday, October 3, 2003

ABC orders up ‘Simple Rules,’ ‘Bonnie’

ABC has nine-episode orders going to its pair of new Tuesday comedies, “8 Simple Rules” and “Life with Bonnie,” after three weeks of solid ratings returns. The orders of the remaining season episodes of the Disney-owned Touchstone Television’s freshman sitcoms leaves Tuesday’s series premiere of “Less Than Perfect” the only part of the new Tuesday comedy troika awaiting word on an extended order.

Since debuting on Sept. 17 in 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (ET) Tuesday slot, “8 Simples Rules'” 5.5 rating/17 share average among adults 18 to 49 has marked a 62 percent increase from what departed “Dharma & Greg” (3.4/10) averaged over the comparable year-ago span. “Life with Bonnie,” which aired its first two weeks in the lead-out 8:30 p.m. slot and moved to 9 p.m. last Tuesday, has seen its 5.1/15 in adults 18 to 49 mark about 30 percent versus the comparable year-ago time slots. “8 Simple Rules” has also averaged 14.5 million total viewers, up 51 percent from “Dharma’s” average head count last year.

ABC spokespeople said it was too early to determine a pick after one airing of “Less Than Perfect,” which averaged a second-ranked 4.3/15 in adults 18 to 49 for its premiere last Tuesday in the 9:30 p.m. time slot.

NBC wins Wednesday, but ABC bites back: In typical fashion NBC’s “The West Wing” and the season opener of “Law & Order” gave the network wins for Wednesday night in the key adults 18 to 49, total viewers and household ratings. However, ABC continued to show signs of rebound with its “My Wife and Kids,” the season opener of “George Lopez” and a new lineup of hopeful females in “The Bachelor II,” making the network a stronger 8 p.m.-to-10 p.m. (ET) player.

“My Wife and Kids” opened the 8 p.m.-to-8: 30 p.m. frame with winning scores in adults 18 to 49 (5.2 rating/16 share) and 13.3 million total viewers, although it was down 7 percent in the demo (5.6/17) compared with the first half of its hour-long season opener last week. Still, the strong opening allowed 8:30 p.m. lead-out “George Lopez” to post a winning adults 18 to 49 score (4.6/13), which most notably marked a healthy 88 percent retention of its lead-in, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research fast national data.

NBC’s “Ed” came in second among adults 18 to 49 (3.6/10) for the 8 p.m. hour, improving 6 percent from its week-ago season opener (3.4/10).

In the 9 p.m.-to-10 p.m. span, NBC’s “West Wing” captured wins in adults 18 to 49 (5.2/13) and total viewers (16.4 million), but it was down from its week-ago season premiere-as expected-by 17 percent in the key demo (6.3/15).

Coming off a clip-reel retrospective last week, the 9 p.m. opening of the courting competition on “The Bachelor II” came in a competitive second among adults 18 to 49 (4.9/12), improving 26 percent from its previous week’s score (4.0/10). “Bachelor” improved 11 percent from its first and second half-hour frames (4.6/12 vs. 5.1/13). It also beat CBS’s season opener of “The Amazing Race III” by a 32 percent margin in adults 18 to 49, where its 3.7/9 average marked a 33 percent decline from “Big Brother 3’s” series finale in the week-ago time slot (5.5/14).

“Law & Order,” opening its 13th season, won the 10 p.m. closing hour among adults 18 to 49 (6.9//18) and total viewers (18.7 million) in typical form for NBC. However, in the battle of competing of medical dramas, it was CBS’s “Presidio Med” that held even week to week among adults 18 to 49 (3.1/8), while ABC’s “MDs” dropped 12 percent from its week-ago premiere (3.0/8 vs. 3.4/9).

NBC won the night in adults 18 to 49 (5.2/14) but slipped a slight 7 percent from the previous Wednesday. ABC (4.3/12) and CBS (3.1/8) were also down 4 percent and 7 percent, respectively, among adults 18 to 49. Fox aired Game 2 of the American League divisional playoff between the Anaheim Angels and New York Yankees, registering a preliminary 3.5/9 in adults 18 to 49 and 9.7 million total viewers, but live event sports has something of a plus/minus margin of error in the preliminary Nielsen measure.

NATAS fetes tech Emmys: The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored winners of 2001-2002 Scientific Development and Technological Achievement Emmy Awards Wednesday night in New York.

“This year’s recipients exemplify the close bond between television and

technological advancements,” said NATAS President Peter O. Price. “Many of

these recipients’ technological advancements have not only helped meet

consumers’ growing demand for higher-quality television, but also have

fostered the wide consumer adoption of technologies including digital cable

and plasma screens.”

Emmys went to:

— CBS for development and standardization of the alignment color bar test signal for television picture monitors.

— Panasonic-Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. for development of a practical variable-frame-rate video-acquisition camera system that enables under- and over-cranking.

— Fujitsu General America Inc., Donald L. Bitzer, H. Gene Slottow and Robert H. Willson for development of plasma displays.

— Royal Philips Electronic and Thomson for development and/or commercialization of the 16:9 aspect ratio.

— Garrett Brown and CF InFlight LLP for development of remote-controlled cable-suspended moving camera-platform technology.

— Proximity Corp. for software for managing graphic assets for broadcast.

— Motorola-Broadband Communication Sector and Thomson for development of the consumer digital set-top box for satellite and/or cable.

Advertisers sign on for Discovery Kids block: Kraft, McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble are the three charter launch advertisers for Discovery Kids on NBC, the three-hour block debuting Saturday, Oct. 5. Each company has signed a one-year advertising deal and each has bought additional advertising time on the Discovery Kids Channel, where all are first-time advertisers.

MediaVest is Kraft and P&G’s agency of record, and Starcom is the agency of record for McDonald’s kids advertising. As part of the deals, Kraft, McDonald’s and P&G will be included in all promotional materials for the Discovery Kids on NBC launch, with their logos featured in print advertising, in-cinema advertising, radio, spot television and cross-channel promotions. In all, 25 advertisers have signed on for the Discovery Kids on NBC block.

CNBC Europe to lay off London staffers: CNBC Europe is restructuring its London business operations, a move that will result in the loss of some 25 jobs , or about 15 percent of its staff, because of redundancies. Rick Cotton, president of CNBC Europe, said in a statement, “We are operating in an extremely difficult economic climate and we have had to make difficult decisions regarding the business.” At the same time, he said, the operating requirements of the expanding financial and business news channel have changed with its focus on “real-time markets coverage,” changes in presentation, technical upgrades and access to nearly 300 Dow Jones news staffers throughout Europe.

McClintock promoted at CBS: Dana McClintock has been promoted to senior VP of communications for CBS. Mr. McClintock is 31 and was named VP, communications, in 1999. He started his career doing publicity for “Late Show With David Letterman” and went to ABC News to represent “PrimeTime Live” before returning to CBS, where his assignments included CBS Sports coverage of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Showtime renews ‘Jeremiah’: “Jeremiah,” the post-apocalyptic sci-fi series starring Luke Perry and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, has received a 15-episode second-season renewal order from Showtime Networks. Actor Sean Astin (“Lord of the Rings”) is joining the cast of the MGM series executive produced by J. Michael Straczynski, best known as the creator of “Babylon 5.” “Jeremiah” is based on a comic book created by Hermann Huppen.

Station groups, TVB cooperate on meeting setup: Five major broadcast station groups have committed to holding management meetings in tandem with the Television Bureau of Advertising’s 2003 annual marketing conference, to be held
in New York next April, and TVB is in discussion with several other groups as well.

Executives from ABC, Hearst-Argyle Television, LIN Television, Scripps Howard Broadcasting and Tribune Broadcasting will gather in company-specific meetings during the week that TVB holds its conference, which is set for April 15 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. The TVB conference will once again be held in partnership with the New York Auto Show.