Hollywood Notes

Oct 21, 2002  •  Post A Comment

ABC has issued a full-season order for sophomore sitcom “George Lopez.” “Lopez,” which airs at 8:30 p.m. (ET) Wednesdays, earned a nine-episode back order to carry it to a full season’s complement of 22 episodes. Last week’s telecast of “Lopez” marked the second week in a row it won its time slot in adults 18 to 49 (5.3 Nielsen Media Research rating/14 share). It held all of its “My Wife and Kids” lead-in (5.3/16), beating NBC’s second-ranked “Ed” drama (3.6/10) by a healthy 47 percent margin. “Lopez’s” season-to-date average in adults 18 to 49 (5.2/14) is a 7 percent improvement over what “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” did in the comparable year-ago span.
`Blue’ on the beat for 11th season
ABC has renewed “NYPD Blue” for 2003-04, which will be the Steven Bochco cop drama’s 11th season. Although “Blue” has been somewhat flat year to year in the adults 18 to 49 demo ratings, the show has still been an integral player in ABC’s resurgent Tuesday night lineup. To date, “Blue” has been averaging a 4.9 rating/14 share in adults 18 to 49, down 6 percent from its comparable first three weeks last season (5.2/14), according to Nielsen Media Research national data. The show still wins the 10 p.m. Tuesday frame in total viewers (13.2 million).
WB extends two orders, yanks one
On the heels of making a full-season pickup of freshman drama “Everwood,” The WB last week gave back-nine-episode extension orders to freshman sitcoms “Greetings From Tucson” and “Do Over,” while handing a cancellation notice to struggling sophomore sitcom “Off Centre.” The WB’s other rookie entries, 8 p.m. Thursday lead-off player “Family Affair” and 8 p.m. Friday opener “What I Like About You,” are expected to soon announce remaining full-season orders.
On Thursday night “Off Centre” has been averaging a 1.3 rating in the network’s core persons 12 to 34 demographic-down about 20 percent from its year-ago average in its former 9:30 p.m. Sunday slot.
The WB is said to have several midseason bench players, including the comedy “The O’Keefes,” which got a strong reception in pilot presentations last May and could be considered for a Thursday slot when “Off Centre” finishes its run at the end of the November sweeps. WB officials have hinted, however, that the network could offer double runs of “Jamie Kennedy Experiment” to fill the 8 p.m.-to-9 p.m. Thursday time slots on a temporary basis.
“Greetings From Tucson” has been The WB’s strongest freshman sitcom in adults 18 to 49 (1.4/5), retaining 83 percent of the lead-in from 9 p.m. Friday tentpole “Reba” (1.7/6). “Do Over,” on the other hand, has been a modest player in persons 12 to 34 (1.3 rating) and adults 18 to 49 (0.7/2), holding even with lead-in “Family Affair” in the killer 8 p.m.-to-9 p.m. Thursday slot, opposite NBC’s top-rated “Friends” and CBS’s “Survivor: Thailand.”
Ungerman-Levinsohn extends
UPN has signed Nicole Ungerman-Levinsohn, senior VP of business affairs, to a long-term contract extension. Ms. Ungerman-Levinsohn, who has been at UPN in her current capacity since June 1999, oversees the negotiation of all series licensing deals on behalf of the network, reporting to Dawn Ostroff, UPN’s president of entertainment. She was instrumental in the acquisition of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” formerly on The WB.
Smith moves to TLC
Maureen Smith, the former president of the now-defunct Fox Kids Network and Fox Family Channel, has joined an independent kids and family production company bannered as TLC Entertainment. Founded in 1988 by George Taweel and Rob Loos, TLC Entertainment specializes in writing, producing and directing all forms of family entertainment. During the past 14 years, TLC, based in Studio City, Calif., has produced a diverse slate of series and specials, such as “Captain Kangaroo,” “McGee and Me!” and “The Christmas Lamb.” Ms. Smith’s most immediate mandate is to increase the company’s library of intellectual properties and oversee marketing and brand management for each, to fully exploit media assets across all applicable platforms, including television, home video, video-on-demand, publishing and feature films.
Rashad to host `Celebrity Mole’
Ahmad Rashad, the Emmy-Award-winning sportscaster and former NFL All-Pro wide receiver, has signed to host ABC’s upcoming celebrity edition of “The Mole” for broadcast later this season. “Celebrity Mole” will be a special six-episode edition of the show that will feature seven celebrity players as they try to figure out who among them is The Mole. The celebrities-two have been named so far, Kathy Griffin (“Suddenly Susan”) and Stephen Baldwin (“The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas”)-will try to uncover clues that could lead to a pot of up to $250,000.