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Mar 27, 2003  •  Post A Comment

‘Wanda’ Debut Scores Big for Fox

Amid a sea of reality last night, NBC’s The West Wing drew its smallest audience ever for an original episode, 11.7 million viewers, which placed it third in its time slot, according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data. It also hit its second-to-lowest rating ever in adults 18 to 49 with a 3.8 rating and 9 share, behind Fox’s first place American Idol and Wanda at Large (8.0/19), ABC’s The Bachelor (4.7/11) and CBS’s 60 Minutes (4.2/10).

ABC debuted the latest installment of The Bachelor last night with The Bachelor: Revealed, which introduced bachelor Andrew Firestone and the 25 bachelorettes. Its 4.7/11 18 to 49 score was down from last fall’s Bachelor, which averaged a 7.9/19, but up 21 percent from last September’s Bachelor: Revealed special. American Idol won its time slot from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in adults 18 to 49, beating the second half-hour of Survivor. In total viewers, though, Survivor won the second half-hour 17.2 million to 16.8 million.

Idol also gave a big boost to the debut of sitcom Wanda at Large, which won its 9:30 p.m.-to-10 p.m. time slot in adults 18 to 49 (6.5/15) and total viewers (14.4 million).

For the night in adults 18 to 49, Fox won with a 7.0/17, followed by CBS (4.8/12), NBC (4.1/10) and ABC (3.7/9). In total viewers, for the night Fox won with 15.3 million, followed by CBS (13.3 million), NBC (12.3 million) and ABC (8.7 million).

FCC Plans Vote on Ownership Rules: FCC Chairman Michael Powell today said the agency has tentatively planned for June 2 a final vote on proposals to ax or relax its media ownership rules. Three Republican lawmakers-Sens. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., Olympia Snowe, R-Me., and Susan Collins, R-Me.-recently urged the agency to hold off, putting the precise changes contemplated out for a new round of comment. But in a Q&A session after a speech at a luncheon sponsored by the Media Institute in Washington, Mr. Powell said he was reluctant to delay resolution of the proceedings. “I’m … not inclined to do it just for the sake of doing it,” he said. “To be perfectly candid, I think there are those who just simply want to delay the proceeding because they do not support the change.” Mr. Powell also said he was considering backing a federal advisory committee to recommend ways the government could stimulate diversity of media ownership.

Brady to Host Daytime Emmys: Wayne Brady has been named host of The 30th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards which will be broadcast Friday, May 16. The awards will air live on ABC from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Radio City Music Hall. Mr. Brady is a nominee for The Wayne Brady Show.

ESPN HD Simulcast Service to Begin: ESPN HD, the sports network’s high-definition simulcast service set to debut March 30, has reached several affiliation agreements and will launch on Insight Communications, Cox Communications, the National Cable Television Cooperative, Service Electric Cable TV, Utilacom and Comporium Communications systems, which collectively reach more than 22 million subscribers.

Seymour to Host Hallmark Series: Actress Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) has been named host of the second season of Adoption, the original documentary series from Hallmark Channel.

Robert Halmi Jr. and Jeff Lion Weinstock are Adoption’s executive producers. The series begins its new season this September.