‘Dell guy’ arrested
The young actor made famous portraying “Steven,” the “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” guy in a recent series of computer TV commercials, was arrested Sunday on marijuana possession charges. According to a report on TheSmokingGun.com Web site, which specializes in posting high-profile court filings and other public documents, Benjamin Curtis, the 22-year-old actor who portrays Steven, was arrested on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and charged with buying a “small bag” of marijuana. He was being held in central booking and was scheduled to be arraigned today in Manhattan Criminal Court, according to the Web site, which is owned by Court TV.
UPN schedules ‘Platinum’: UPN will debut its midseason drama “Platinum” with a sneak preview on Monday, April 14, from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. (ET). A second episode will air in its regular time slot on Tuesday, April 15, from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. “Platinum” follows the story of two brothers who built a hip-hop record company from the ground up.
Carver new GM at WATL: Steve Carver has been named VP and general manager of WATL-TV, the Tribune Broadcasting-owned WB affiliate in Atlanta. Mr. Carver has been regional VP overseeing Tribune’s WB affiliate cluster WXIN-TV and WTTV-TV in Indianapolis and Fox-affiliated WXMI-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich., duties he is expected to hand off to someone else in the near future. Mr. Carver also has been VP and general manager of WGN-AM Radio in Chicago, duties and title that will be transferred immediately to Mark Krieschen, who has been director of sales at the radio station.
Fox tops NBC in Sunday demo race: Fox edged out NBC in the adults 18 to 49 race Sunday night with a 4.6 rating and 11 share vs. NBC’s 4.5/11, according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data. “The Simpsons” (6.1/14) was the highest-rated show in the demo for the night. In the week two battle of NBC’s “Kingpin” vs. ABC’s “Dragnet,” “Kingpin” won the 18 to 49 battle and the time period, with a 4.7/12 compared with “Dragnet’s” 4.3/11. In total viewers, “Dragnet” attracted 11.7 million to “Kingpin’s” 11.1 million. Both shows slipped from their premieres-“Dragnet” went from a 4.8/12 to a 4.3/11 in the demo. “Kingpin” went from a 5.4/14 to a 4.7/12. “Dragnet” gave ABC its second-lowest performance in the time period in adults 18 to 49 this season.
For the night in adults 18 to 49, after Fox and NBC, ABC was third (3.4/8) followed by CBS (3.2/8). In total viewers, CBS won the night (13 million), followed by NBC (11.4 million), Fox (10.4 million) and ABC (9.5 million).
WB, Pepsi to present special with $1 billion prize: Michael Davies’ Diplomatic Productions and The WB are near a deal for a two-hour live special in which the grand prize is $1 billion, according to a report in today’s Daily Variety. Pepsi will be partnered in the program, for which contestants are selected through the purchase of a few specially marked Pepsi products. Plans call for Pepsi to promote the program throughout the summer and up to the special’s September airdate. Details are still being worked out for the contest, in which contestants will face off in a game of nerve and “chicken,” the report said. Mr. Davies was responsible for bringing ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” to the United States.
Bravo orders ‘Queer Eye’: NBC’s Bravo has ordered 12 one-hour episodes of “The Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” a weekly lifestyle makeover series from Scout Productions. The series is scheduled for a July debut. The premise, familiar certainly to viewers of HBO’s “Sex and the City,” is that gay people have a better grasp of the elements of personal style than do straight men. Accordingly, each episode of “The Queer Eye” will have five “gay consultants,” experts in various aspects of stylishness, making over some benighted, style-challenged hetero, with the avowed purpose of “building a better straight man,” as a network statement put it. The series “was created by David Collins, a gay man, and developed by David Metzler, a straight man,” the statement also noted. Mr. Collins is one of the show’s executive producers and Mr. Metzler is the co-executive producer.
Fox schedules ‘Married by America’: Fox’s latest reality show “Married by America” will premiere Monday, March 3, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. (ET). It will be followed by a special one-hour episode on Wednesday, March 5, from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., before settling into its regular Monday 9 p.m.-to-10 p.m. time slot on March 10. During the first two shows, viewers will meet five single people who are looking for spouses and five potential mates for each of them. At the end of each show, viewers can vote by phone to determine which couples should get together. The March 10 episode will be the first time the couples meet and will feature them becoming engaged.
Lifetime orders ‘Wild Card’ pilot: Lifetime Television has given a pilot order to “Wild Card,” a drama about a former Las Vegas blackjack dealer who returns home when her sister dies in a car accident. The ex-dealer has to take care of her sister’s children and after she investigates the circumstances of her sister’s death she becomes an insurance fraud investigator. The pilot for the proposed summer series is from Toronto-based Fireworks Television.#