Gibbons ‘Extra’ Contract Up This Summer
Leeza Gibbons, the host and producer of Telepictures’ newsmagazine strip Extra who appeared primarily during sweeps this season, will not anchor the May sweep. In fact, sources speculated that Ms. Gibbons may not be back on the show in a regular role if her contract, which is up this summer, is not extended. A Telepictures spokesperson confirmed that Dayna Devon will take over anchoring duties on Extra for May sweeps as they give Ms. Gibbons more time off to work on her personal projects.
“This summer we’ll sit down with her and figure out what her needs and desires are,” Telepictures president Jim Paratore said in a statement.
Ms. Gibbons had been given extensive time off to establish a foundation to help fund Alzheimer’s research. She established the Leeza Gibbons Memory Centers & Family Workshops for the treatment of and research into Alzheimer’s disease.
Sony Profits Miss Target: Sony Corp. Thursday posted 2002 fiscal year net profits of 115.15 billion yen ($961.1 million), much lower than Sony’s own forecast of 180 billion yen. Profits were propelled by cost cutting at its electronics division as well as by results at its Sony Pictures Entertainment and video game units. Sony said the TV business contributed to the bottom line through cost reductions, which included releasing fewer new network TV shows.
Sony’s overall profit for the 2003 fiscal year is projected to tumble to 50 billion yen ($417.3 million) while sales remain flat.
NBC Pulls ‘Just Shoot Me’: NBC killed Just Shoot Me by pulling it off the air for May sweeps. The company had scheduled back-to-back episodes of the sitcom on Tuesday nights from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the sweeps, but after pulling a 1.9/5 rating in adults 18 to 49 and averaging fewer than 5 million viewers for the hour, the the network replaced it with such specials as Outrageous Game Show Moments, several of which were scheduled for Wednesdays at 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Instead, on Wednesdays, NBC will air editions of Dateline for the remainder of sweeps. Shoot was returning to the air after a four-month hiatus. NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker, who told TV critics at Press Tour in January that the show was having a good year creatively, promised the show would return and get another chance. Producers of the show had also been told to create a season finale that could be the series finale if the show wasn’t renewed for another year. The unaired episodes of Shoot are likely to run sometime during the summer.