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Nov 14, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Posted Thursday, Nov. 14.

Emmys stay with broadcast

The Emmy awards will remain with the Big Four broadcast networks after all.

Despite an earlier offer from premium cable channel HBO, the board of governors of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has voted to accept a reported eight-year, $52 million “wheel” that would continue to rotate television’s premiere award show among ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. The broadcasters also will foot the bill for the award show’s annual multimillion dollar production and marketing costs.

HBO’s earlier offer, for a reported five years and a $50 million license fee, divided the Academy and led to threats by the networks, particularly CBS, to boycott the annual ceremony.

The new deal more than doubles the annual fee that ATAS received under the previous contract.

Emmis Communications buys WB affiliate: Emmis Communications has agreed to acquire WBPG-TV, The WB affiliate in Pensacola, Fla., from Pegasus Communications for $11.5 million. The deal, expected to be finalized by the end of March 2003, would give Emmis, which owns Fox affiliate WALA-TV, a duopoly in the Pensacola-Mobile market, the 63rd-largest in the country. It would boost the number of stations owned by Emmis to 16.

Satellite television pioneer dies in plane crash: H. Taylor Howard, one of the fathers of the modern satellite television industry, died Wednesday when the small plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff from Calaveras County Airport in Northern California. His stepson, Brian Files, was also killed in the crash.

Mr. Howard was a founding chairman of the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association and its predecessor organization. The T. Howard Foundation, created in 1994 and named for Mr. Howard, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting women and people of color in the satellite/telecommunications industry.

He is survived by his wife, Annie, two children and several stepchildren.

‘The Bachelor’ pushes ABC to win: For the second week in a row, ABC won Wednesday night in the adults 18 to 49 demographic, beating second-place NBC last night by a 23 percent margin. ABC had a 6.5 rating and 17 share in the demo, compared with NBC’s 5.3/14, according to Nielsen Media Research fast national data.

Key to the victory was the 9 p.m.-to-10 p.m. airing of “The Bachelor: Women Tell All,” which won the time period in adults 18 to 49 with a 7.7 rating/19 share, beating NBC’s second-place “The West Wing” (5.1/12) by 51 percent. “The Bachelor” also beat “West Wing” in total viewers (16.8 million vs. 15.8 million) and households (11.4/17 vs. 10.7/16). ABC was also boosted by a “PrimeTime” special with Diane Sawyer interviewing Jennifer Lopez at 10 p.m., which won the time slot in adults 18 to 49 with a 7.1/19.

NBC did see an above-average performance by drama “Ed,” which scored a second-place 4.4/12 among adults 18 to 49 and won the time slot in households (8.3/13) and total viewers (12.6 million).

Fox finished third for the night in the 18 to 49 demo ( 3.3/9) followed by CBS (2.6/7). CBS didn’t get much help from freshman 10 p.m. drama “Presidio Med,” which pulled a mere 1.8/5 in the demo.

‘Wayne Brady’ to receive full national launch: A successful rollout has Buena Vista’s “The Wayne Brady Show” poised for a full national launch beginning fall 2003, and the show has earned a renewal from the ABC owned-and-operated stations. The strip is currently broadcast in 54 percent of the country as part of the limited rollout plan.

The ABC-owned stations carrying the show include WABC-TV, New York; WPVI-TV, Philadelphia; KGO-TV, San Francisco; KTRK-TV, Houston; WTVD-TV, Raleigh, N.C.; KFSN-TV, Fresno, Calif.; WJRT-TV, Flint, Mich.; and WTVG-TV, Toledo, Ohio.

UPN’s ‘Abby’ takes over ‘Haunted’ time slot: UPN has scheduled the sitcom “Abby” in the Tuesday 9 p.m.-to-9:30 p.m. time slot previously occupied by the canceled drama “Haunted.” The sitcom will get a special preview on Monday, Jan. 6, at 9:30 p.m., following “Girlfriends.”

On Tuesday, Jan. 7, a second original episode of “Abby” will air at 9:30 p.m. with a new episode of “Girlfriends” as its lead-in. “Abby” will settle into its regularly scheduled 9 p.m. time slot on Jan. 14, with repeats of UPN’s Monday night comedies leading out of the new series. “Abby” is a romantic comedy starring Sydney Tamiia Poitier and Kadeem Hardison.

Hillman, Slay promoted at Hallmark: Hallmark Channel has promoted two publicity executives, naming Elizabeth Hillman VP of corporate communications and Pam Slay VP of network program publicity, effective immediately.

Both Ms. Hillman and Ms. Slay will report to David Kenin, Hallmark’s executive VP of programming. They will be based at the channel’s Los Angeles headquarters.

‘Robbie the Reindeer’ comes to U.S.: CBS will import two “Robbie the Reindeer” holiday specials from the BBC just in time for Christmas. “Robbie the Reindeer in Hooves of Fire” and “Robbie the Reindeer in Legend of the Lost Tribe” will air back-to-back from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. (ET) Friday, Dec. 13.

The specials will be voiced by a host of actors, including Ben Stiller, Hugh Grant, Britney Spears, Brad Garrett and Jim Belushi. In addition, CBS Sports’ Dan Dierdorf and Dick Enberg will lend their voices to the project as announcers for the Reindeer Races.#