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Apr 25, 2003  •  Post A Comment

‘Maury’ Assists in the Arrest of Suspected Batterer

A recent episode of syndicated talk show Maury led to the capture of an accused batterer named Reggie McNeil on Friday, a Maury spokesman said. A segment on the Universal Domestic TV talk show focused on McNeil as part of an April 18 show about brutal attacks. McNeil apparently had jumped bail after he was arrested in May 2001 and faced with multiple charges related to the shooting in the face of his girlfriend. McNeil turned himself into police in Brooklyn, the spokesman said. Some 20 tips filtered into investigators after McNeil’s mug shot was posted on Maury, and it had become clear to McNeil that the authorities were on to him. The arrest is a first for Maury, which traditionally focuses on relationships – not suspected criminals on the lam.

NBC Wins First Night of Sweeps: NBC won the first night of sweeps in adults 18 to 49 by a 45 percent margin over second place CBS. NBC’s Will & Grace, with a guest appearance by Madonna, beat Friends out to become the top-ranked sitcom of the night with a 9.6 rating and a 24 share, according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data. From 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., an expanded Friends original and a Friends repeat beat Survivor by three ratings points in adults 18 to 49 (9.4/27 vs. 6.4/18). NBC took the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. hour in adults 18 to 49 with a 45-minute Will & Grace and a 15-minute Will & Grace clip show, but CBS won the hour in total viewers with CSI, which pulled in 24.7 million viewers.

The luster has also seemed to wear off of Michael Jackson. Fox’s Michael Jackson’s Private Home Movies finished in third place from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. hour scored a 3.1/9 in adults 18 to 49 and a 3.3/8 from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. And ABC found a little bit of life on the night with a 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. PrimeTime Live special featuring the Dixie Chicks. It finished second in adults 18 to 49 with a 5.0/13, behind NBC’s ER (10/26) but ahead of CBS’s drama Without a Trace (4.6/12).

For the night, NBC won in adults 18 to 49 with a 9.6/25, followed by CBS (6.6/17), Fox (3.2/9) and ABC (2.9/8). In total viewers, NBC edged out CBS to win the night with 19.5 million viewers, followed by CBS (19 million), ABC (8.2 million) and Fox (7.9 million).

Roseanne to Star in Cooking and Lifestyle Show: “Synergy” may be last year’s buzz word, but it’s next fall’s actuality on ABC Family, which will air the tentatively titled The Domestic Goddess Hour, a cooking and lifestyle series starring comedian Roseanne. The making of that series will be part of another, still untitled 13-week reality series that the ABC Television Network will air this summer. That untitled series will delve into Roseanne’s personal life and follow her as she pitches the pilot for The Domestic Goddess Hour, which in turn will premiere this fall on the cable network.

ESPN to Launch Pay-Per-View Programming: ESPN is launching ESPN Pay-Per-View, a new service that will feature NCAA Baseball Championship Super Regional games, martial arts programs, fantasy league specials, movies produced by ESPN Original Entertainment and other programming.

The PPV service is intended to complement ESPN’s existing out-of-market sports subscription services, ESPN GamePlan and ESPN Full Court, college football and college basketball packages.

ESPN PPV kicks off with ESPN College Grand Slam, a package of up to 24 games from the Super Regional Round of the NCAA Baseball Championship, available June 6 to June 9 for $19.95.

NBA TV to Air Reality Show: NBA TV, the professional basketball league’s digital-tier network currently reaching approximately 18 million homes, is getting into the reality TV game with Real Playoffs 2003, an eight-episode weekly half-hour that will chronicle the lives of 16 NBA players, one from each of the playoff teams, as they compete for the championship.

The series debuts April 29.