Hollywood Notes

Oct 7, 2002  •  Post A Comment

ABC orders up ‘Simple Rules,’ ‘Bonnie’
ABC ordered the back nine episodes of its pair of new Tuesday comedies, “8 Simple Rules” and “Life With Bonnie,” after three weeks of solid ratings returns. The full-season pickups of Disney-owned Touchstone Television’s freshman sitcoms leaves Tuesday’s “Less Than Perfect,” which premiered last Tuesday, the only part of its new Tuesday comedy troika awaiting word on an extended order. Since debuting Sept. 17 in the 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 the 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 average in adults 18 to 49 mark about a 30 percent increase vs. the comparable year-ago time slots. “8 Simple Rules” has averaged 14.5 million total viewers, up 51 percent from “Dharma’s” average headcount last year. ABC spokespeople said it was too early to determine a pickup 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.
WorldLink hooks up to market `Moving’
Media sales firm WorldLink is partnering with WENA Productions and Mansfield Television Distribution to offer marketing opportunities to the advertising community through its new first-run syndicated lifestyle series “America’s Moving To … ” One of America’s largest homebuilders, Ryland Homes, has been signed as the show’s presenting sponsor when it premieres in January 2003. WENA Productions will produce 18 original episodes of “America’s Moving To …” The weekly program will be distributed throughout the United States by Mansfield Television Distribution, which has formally opened the program to market. In addition to selling traditional spot advertisements for the program WorldLink will create alternative in-program marketing opportunities for advertisers, including sponsorships, contests, promotions, Internet tie-ins and product integration.
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, the creator of “Babylon 5.” “Jeremiah” is based on a comic book created by Hermann Huppen.
Fox’s Reilly elected president of HRTS
Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment for FX cable network, was unanimously elected by the Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s board of directors to serve as president of the entertainment society for the 2002-03 term, which began last month. Mr. Reilly succeeds former HRTS President Rick Rosen. Serving as HRTS’ VP will be Jordan Levin, president of entertainment for The WB. Dick Askin, president and CEO of syndicator Tribune Entertainment, was elected as secretary. Stephen McPherson, president of Touchstone Television, was chosen to serve as treasurer.
Elected to three-year terms on the board of directors by the HRTS membership were Adam Berkowitz, head of television packaging, Creative Artists Agency; Bob Levinson, executive VP and head of worldwide TV, International Creative Management; Jeanne Newman, attorney and partner in the firm of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman & Warren, LLP; and Dawn Ostroff, president of entertainment for UPN.
Short takes
Warner Bros. media research and advertising veteran David Somerville died Sept. 30 from complications following a stroke. He was 47. Mr. Somerville, who had been with Warner Bros. since 1996, served as director of Warner Bros. Corporate Media Research, most recently focusing on the company’s domestic cable distribution division. … NBC Enterprises has promoted Diane Herzog to VP of publicity, from director of publicity. She will oversee publicity, corporate communications and talent relations for all ancillary businesses of NBC. … Harvey Myman has been named VP of creative affairs for HBO Independent Productions, from senior VP of comedy development for Columbia TriStar Television. … Dana McClintock has been promoted to senior VP of communications for CBS, from VP of communications.