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Aug 28, 2003  •  Post A Comment

‘Dateline’ Cuts Staff

“Dateline NBC” last week laid off approximately 15 producers, associate producers and other off-air personnel.

Sources say the reduction was forced on the newsmagazine show because it is being cut from three regularly scheduled nights (Sunday, Tuesday and Friday) last season to two nights (Sunday and Friday) in the 2003-2004 season. A number of the people who were cut reportedly had contracts that said they could be fired in the event of just such this situation, said a source, who said no senior producers or correspondents are on the cutting block. An NBC News spokeswoman would confirm only that a cutback was made.

‘American Juniors’ Will Not Return this Fall: “American Juniors” will not be on Fox’s fall schedule as originally announced last May. A second edition of the “American Idol” spin off was slated for Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. The series in the summer usually won its time slot in most young adult demos, but did not post spectacular numbers. The move off the fall schedule, however, doesn’t mean a second edition is dead. The show’s producers FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment said they don’t have time to get another edition ready by fall because they are in the middle of preparing for the next “American Idol,” which is slated for January. A second “Juniors” could air next summer. Fox has yet to determine what will replace “Juniors” on the fall schedule.

Fox Orders Six More Scripts of ‘The O.C.’: Fox ordered six more scripts of the Warner Bros.-produced drama “The O.C.” Thirteen episodes had already been ordered, bringing the total up to 19 episodes, which is just three shy of the typical full season order of 22.

Four episodes of “The O.C.” have aired on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m., with ratings increasing each week. This week, “The O.C.” won its time slot in adults 18 to 49 with a 3.8 rating/11share and in total viewers with 8.7 million total viewers.

‘Queer Eye’ Book Announced: Bravo’s break-out hit, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” has inked a deal with Clarkson Potter/Publishers to bring the Fab 5’s advice to bookstores in q tome called “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Fab 5’s Guide to Looking Better, Cooking Better, Dressing Better, Behaving Better and Living Better.”

“From the minute we first saw the on-air promotions on Bravo for ‘Queer Eye,’ we wanted to publish a book with the Fab 5,” said Lauren Shakely, senior VP of Clarkson Potter/Publishers. “The show is an ideal combination of entertainment and information, the perfect balance to turn into a great book.”

The “Queer Eye” book is scheduled to be published in early 2004 and will coincide with the launch of the series’ second season.

‘Letterman’ to Celebrate 10th Anniversary: “Late Show With David Letterman” will celebrate its 10th anniversary on CBS and his 22 years in late night with a prime-time, hourlong special on the network in February. Friday’s edition (Aug. 29) of “Late Show” will feature a favorite Letterman guest, Bonnie Hunt; a 10th anniversary edition of “Know Your Current Events,” and a Top 10 List of “Good Things About Being on CBS for 10 Years.” (No. 9: No matter how many years you’re at the network, you’ll never be as old as the “60 Minutes” guys.) Friday’s show will be his 2,036th on CBS (including four prime-time specials) and his 3,846th counting the 1,810 he made at NBC.

NATPE Adds TV Execs to Board of Directors: The National Association of Television Program Executives has added six senior television executives to its board of directors. Joining the board immediately are Ignacio Barrera, senior VP, Tepuy; Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO, DIC Entertainment; Paul Jackson, director of international production, Granada International; Robert Riesenberg, executive VP and director, New York’s MAGNA Global Entertainment; Jay Switzer, president and CEO, CHUM Limited; and John Weiser, executive VP, Sony Pictures Television.

The announcement was made by Rick Feldman, president and CEO of NATPE, and Peggy Kelly, senior VP of Global Client Services, Universal McCann, and NATPE chairperson.

“Each brings strong backgrounds and extensive relationships throughout our diverse industry that will further benefit NATPE in the coming years,” said Mr. Feldman.

“As our association prepares for its annual conference next January and beyond, it will be important to have the support of a strong board as NATPE moves forward,” Ms. Kelly said. The six new directors join Madelyn Bonnot, VP of Emmis Television; Lisa Churchville, president and general manager of WJAR-TV, Providence, R.I.; Stephen Davis, president and CEO of Carlton America; Garnett Losak, VP and director of programming of Petry Media Corporation; and Gary Marenzi, president of Paramount International; Gilles Meunier, commercial director, SmartJog; Katherine Oliver, commissioner of film, theater and broadcast for New York City; Sean Perry, syndication and reality television, Endeavor Talent Agency; John Reardon, west coast regional vice president with Tribune Television and the general manager of KTLA-TV in Los Angeles; and Steve Rosenberg, president, Universal Domestic Television.

The board also includes executive committee members, in addition to Ms. Kelly: Tony Vinciquerra, NATPE immediate past chairperson and president and CEO, Fox Networks Group; NATPE member representatives Carole Black, president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services; Emerson Coleman, VPt of programming for Hearst-Argyle Television; and Dennis Williamson, senior corporate VP for Belo Corp.

‘Survivor’ Premiere Set for Sept. 18: The seventh edition of CBS’s “Survivor” will premiere with an expanded 90-minute episode on Thursday, Sept. 18. In a new twist, the 16 castaways will be stranded on the Pearl Islands off the coast of Panama with only the clothes on their backs — something the contestants did not know about ahead of time. In previous editions, contestants were able to take swimsuits and a few sets of clothing, along with one luxury item.

The 16 contestants, vying for a $1 million prize, were introduced on CBS’s “The Early Show” Thursday morning. The Morgan Tribe includes Tijuana Bradley, 27, a pharmaceutical sales rep from St. Louis; Nicole Delma, 25, a massage therapist from Hermosa Beach, Calif.; Darrah Johnson, 22, a mortician from Liberty, Miss.; Lillian Morris, 51, a scout troop leader in Cincinnati; Ryan Opray, 31, an electrician from Los Gatos, Calif.; Andrew Savage, 40, a Chicago attorney; Ryan Shoulders, 23, a produce clerk from Clarksville, Tenn.; and Osten Taylor, 27, an equity trade manager in Boston.

The Drake Tribe includes Rupert Boneham, 39, a mentor to troubled teens from Indianapolis; Shawn Cohen, 28, an advertising sales rep from New York; Jon Dalton, 29, an art consultant from Danville, Va.; Sandra Diaz-Twine, 29, an office assistant from Fort Lewis, Wash.; Trish Dunn, 42, a sales executive from Annapolis, Md.; Christa Hastie, 24, a computer programmer from Los Angeles; Burton Roberts, 31, a marketing executive from San Francisco; and Michelle Tesauro, 22, a student in Pittstown, N.J.

“Survivor: Pearl Islands” is produced by SEG Inc. Mark Burnett is executive producer.

CBS Wins Wednesday: “Big Brother 4” propelled CBS to a nightly victory in adults 18 to 49 on Wednesday. It was the night’s highest-rated show in the demo with a 4.2/12, according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data. ABC won the 8 p.m. hour with repeats of sitcoms “My Wife and Kids” (3.0/11) and “George Lopez” (3.6/12), beating Fox’s “Paradise Hotel” (2.7/9), which tied for second with CBS’s “60 Minutes II.” NBC won the 10 p.m. hour with a “Law & Order” repeat, which scored 3.8/12.

For the night, CBS won the adults 18 to 49 race with a 3.2/10, followed by ABC (3.0/9), Fox (2.9/9) and NBC 2.8/9). In total viewers, CBS won with 9.4 million, followed by NBC (8.8 million), ABC (7.1 million) and Fox (6.2 million).