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Jul 2, 2003  •  Post A Comment

TBS Picks Up ‘Futurama’ and ‘The Family Guy’

Beginning Monday TBS will air episodes of “Futurama” and “The Family Guy” during a “special run” of the cult-favorite programs.

“Futurama and “The Family Guy” have proven to be stellar hits among adults 18 to 34 for the late-night Cartoon Network Adult Swim crowd, and we are confident they will prove to be equally popular during the afternoons on TBS Superstation,” said Steve Koonin, executive VP and chief operating officer of TBS.

The episodes will air weekdays at 2 and 2:30 p.m.(ET).

MTV Greenlights New Fall Series: Rich girls, would-be dancers, aspiring cheerleaders and two series built around “Jackass” alums highlight the slate of series MTV has greenlighted for fall. The projects are:

“Wade Robson Project,” a reality competition in which Mr. Robson, a renowned choreographer, will select 80 dancers who will compete for a $100,000 prize.

“Rich Girls,” a reality series focusing on the privileged lives of two New York city 18-year-olds who are rich and well-connected.

“Nature Show,” a reality series that finds two “Jackass” cast members, Steve-O and Chris Pontius, in various exotic locales, interacting with the locals and the local flora and fauna.

“Untitled Bam Margera Project,” a reality series focusing on Mr. Margera, another “Jackass” cast member.

“Made Presents: Camp Jim,” a series about young women who aspire to become cheerleaders.

“Boiling Point,” a hidden-camera game show in which actors try to stress an unwitting participant beyond the boiling point.

Activision Sues Viacom For Shelving ‘Trek’: Veteran video game company Activision has sued Viacom for putting the “Star Trek” franchise “on ice.”

In papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the gamemaker detailed a 1998 agreement in which Activision agreed to pay Viacom $20 million in royalties plus stock warrants in exchange for an exclusive right to develop and sell games based on the “Trek” franchise. In return, claimed Activision, Viacom agreed to use “its commercial best efforts to continue to exploit ‘Star Trek'” for 10 years.

The lawsuit accuses Viacom of breach of contract, noting the company waited four years to release the most recent “Trek” movie and has no plans to make any new films or television series based on the brand.

Claimed Activision: “Through its actions and inactions, [Viacom] has let the once proud ‘Star Trek’ franchise stagnate and decay.”

FCC Releases Details on Ownership Changes: A month after its controversial 3-2 vote revising its media ownership rules, the Federal Communications Commission today released the details of the regulation. The 257-page text is available on the FCC’s Web site, www.fcc.gov. The rules will not go into effect until 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register. It could be two weeks before they are published.

SAG/AFTRA Merger Defeated: The proposed merger of SAG and AFTRA was defeated yesterday by a very slim margin, with 58 percent of SAG members supporting the proposition-2 percent shy of the required amount for passing. The results were announced yesterday by SAG President Melissa Gilbert.

The proposed merger was bitterly fought on both sides, with proponents insisting consolidation will result in more power during contract negotiations, and opponents claiming a merger would decrease the power of SAG members and endanger their health care coverage. Members of AFTRA approved the plan, but both unions needed to pass the measure for consolidation to go forward.

Canada to Host 2010 Olympics: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, will host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The announcement Wednesday by the International Olympic Committee put smiles on faces at NBC, which recently paid more than $2 billion for the U.S. rights to the 2010 and 2012 Summer Games and because of geographic proximity will have an easier time of programming the Vancouver Games major events telecasting them live. On the other hand, many observers presume the decision to go to Vancouver in 2010 dims the chances of New York’s winning the right to host the 2012 Summer Games, which also will be carried by NBC under its new deal.

Davis Team Still Hunting VUE: Despite reports that Vivendi Universal has cut the investment team that includes oil billionaire Marvin Davis from the list of bidders in the hunt for the French conglomerate’s U.S. entertainment assets, people close to the Davis team say his investment consortium still is very much in the game, but was asked to raise its offer price.

Vivendi Universal earlier this week asked all six parties that have expressed interest in the assets — which include cable channels USA and Sci-Fi, the Universal film studio, all under the Vivendi Universal Entertainment umbrella — to revise their bids and not figure the music group in any new offer.

The Paris-based board met on Tuesday and decided to keep the music unit off the auction block for now, with the expectation that it will fetch a higher price after piracy issues are resolved.

All six groups were evaluating their bids and are expected to submit new offers within the next two weeks, a person close to Vivendi Universal said.

With the music group out of the mix, VUE is expected to fetch at least $11 billion, people familiar with the bidding said.

In addition to the Davis team, the potential suitors includes Liberty Media, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, General Electric’s NBC unit, Viacom and a second investment group that includes Vivendi Universal Vice Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Cablevision.