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Sep 29, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Fox Moves ‘O.C.’ to Wednesday; ‘Bernie’ Relocates

Fox is shaking up its fall schedule even before it debuts. New drama “The O.C.” will air on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. when it returns to the schedule on Oct. 29. “The O.C.” had previously been slated for a Thursday 9 p.m. berth, but after it turned in better-than-expected ratings in its seven-week summer run, Fox started looking for a more friendly time slot for it.

Moving “The O.C.” means “Bernie Mac” will relocate from Wednesdays at 9 p.m. to Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. starting Nov. 9 and “Cedric the Entertainer” will move to midseason. Fox has only six episodes of “Cedric” left to air.

It also pushes new sitcom “The Ortegas,” which was scheduled to air on Sundays at 8:30 p.m., to midseason. Fox cut “The Ortegas” order to six episodes.

Fox will fill the Thursday 9 p.m. time slot originally reserved for “The O.C.” with reruns of its new Monday drama “Skin.” “Skin” debuts Monday, Oct. 20, so repeats will start Thurs., Oct. 23.

With “The O.C.” on Wednesday, it will compete against “The Bachelor” on ABC, “The West Wing” on NBC and sitcoms “King of Queens” and “Becker” on CBS. NBC’s and CBS’s lineups skew older than “The O.C.’s” audience, leaving “The Bachelor” as its main competition.

Young-skewing dramas such as “Party of Five,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Melrose Place” have done well on Fox on Wednesday nights in the past, so Fox saw the night as a better opportunity for the series than Thursdays against the most-watched show on TV in CBS’s “CSI” and NBC’s hit sitcom “Will & Grace.” Fox also scheduled an “O.C.” marathon with two episodes of “O.C.” slated each night from Tuesday, Oct. 14, to Thursday, Oct. 16, providing Major League Baseball postseason games do not pre-empt them.

Leingang Reupped at NBC: Producer Lisa Leingang has reupped with NBC Studios. Ms. Leingang, who is based in New York, will continue to develop programming and discover writing and acting talent on the East Coast and in Europe. She was responsible for bringing actor Omid Djalili, who is a regular on “Whoopi,” to NBC. Ms. Leingang, who has been in this position since September 2002, will report to Angela Bromstad, executive VP of NBC Studios.

ABC’s Gail Sullivan Dead at 52: Gail Sullivan, senior VP of daytime sales for the ABC Television Network and SoapNet, died suddenly Sept. 27. She was 52. A cause of death has not been determined. Ms. Sullivan, a native New Yorker, was named senior VP in 2002. Previously, she had been VP and director, daytime sales, senior account executive for prime-time sales and account executive for news, early morning and late-night sales. “All of us at ABC are saddened by the sudden, untimely passing of Gail Sullivan,” said Mike Shaw, president of sales and marketing, ABC Television Network. “We’ve lost not only a talented and dedicated sales executive, but also a wonderful friend and colleague.”

Nets Split Weekend Results: NBC won the first Sunday night of the new season in adults 18 to 49, while CBS took the total viewers crown.

“American Dreams” (3.6/10), “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (5.1/12) and new Rob Lowe drama “The Lyon’s Den” (4.2/11) all won their time slots in adults 18 to 49, according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data.

However, despite winning its time slot, the news wasn’t all good for “Lyon’s Den” – it dropped 13 percent, from a 4.5 to a 3.9 rating, from the first half-hour to the second half-hour. Some of those young viewers switched over to ABC’s “The Practice,” which was up 8 percent from a 3.9 rating to a 4.2 rating for the second half-hour. “Practice” finished tied for second in the demo with the second hour of CBS’s movie “12 Mile Road.” Both scored a 4.1/11.

CBS’s new 8 p.m. drama “Cold Case” finished third in its time slot in adults 18 to 49 with a 3.3/9, but won the time slot in total viewers by a huge margin. It attracted 15.5 million total viewers – 6 million more viewers than second-place “American Dreams” on NBC. CBS also scored with its “12 Mile Road,” which attracted 15.8 million total viewers, making it CBS’s most watched premiere Sunday movie since 1998.

ABC’s new drama “10-8” failed to make big waves, finishing fourth in adults 18 to 49 (2.7/7) and third in total viewers (9.2 million). “Alias” returned at 9 p.m. with a second-place 18 to 49 finish with a 4/9 and pulled 9.6 million total viewers, third place in its time slot. And “The Practice” won back some of the audience it lost when it moved to Mondays midseason last year with a second-place 18 to 49 finish and a third place total viewers finish with 10.2 million.

Fox held up well in the young demos with the movie “There’s Something About Mary.” Combined with a half-hour football overrun, it gave Fox a second place finish for the night in adults 18 to 49 (3.4/9). The WB’s “Charmed” had a solid two-hour premiere building from a 2.2/6 in adults 18 to 49 and 5.6 million total viewers in the first half hour to a 3/7 and 6.4 million viewers in the last half hour.

For the night, NBC won adults 18 to 49 with a 4/11, followed by Fox (3.4/9), ABC and CBS (tied at 3.3/9) and The WB (1.9/5). CBS won the night in total viewers with 15.2 million, followed by NBC (11.6 million), ABC (9.2 million, Fox (7.7 million) and The WB (4.2 million).

Saturday

A strong premiere for “Remember the Titans,” the first movie in ABC’s newly relocated “Wonderful World of Disney” franchise lifted ABC to a Saturday night victory in adults 18 to 49. The three-hour presentation scored a 3.5/11.

CBS, the only network with regular scripted series on Saturday night, beat out ABC in total viewers with 9.7 million. CBS’s “Hack,” which aired on Friday nights last season, had 9.1 million total viewers (second place) and a 1.7/5 in adults 18 to 49 (fourth place) in its Saturday debut.

For the night, ABC won in adults 18 to 49 with a 3.5/11, followed by Fox (2.6/9), NBC (2.4/8) and CBS (2.1/7). In total viewers, CBS won the night with 9.7 million, followed by ABC (9.2 million), Fox (7 million) and NBC (5.3 million).

Friday

ABC and CBS had a lot to crow about Friday night, finishing first and second in adults 18 to 49. CBS’s drama lineup helped propel it to No. 1 in total viewers. NBC, long dominant on the night, settled for a disappointing third in both measures.

CBS opened the night strong with “Joan of Arcadia” winning the 8 p.m. hour in adults 18 to 49 with a 3.4/13, beating out NBC’s new drama “Miss Match,” which finished third with a 2.8/10. It was also no contest in total viewers with “Joan” winning the hour with 13.2 million vs. “Match’s” 7.9 million.

ABC’s return to a “TGIF” sitcom lineup proved a good move with the hour-long premiere of “George Lopez” at 8 p.m. finishing second in adults 18 to 49 (3.2/12) and total viewers (9 million). “Hope & Faith’s” debut at 9 p.m. finished first in adults 18 to 49 (4.7/15) as did “Life With Bonnie” (3.9/12) at 9:30, although “Bonnie” dropped 17 percent from its lead-in. ABC was up vs. the same night last year in adults 18 to 49 (up 75 percent) and total viewers (up 2.6 million).

About 13.8 million people found “JAG’s” new home at 8 p.m., as the CBS drama won its time slot in total viewers. It finished second in adults 18 to 49 with a 3.3/10). CBS also had good results with its new 10 p.m. drama “The Handler,” which finished second in adults 18 to 49 (3.3/11) and first in total viewers (12.6 million).

“Handler” won the 10 p.m. drama battle against NBC’s sophomore series “Boomtown,” which came in third in adults 18 to 49 with a 2.9/9 and in total viewers where it only pulled 7.7 million viewers. “Boomtown” also got beaten by ABC’s “20/20” in both measures.

Fox continued to see weak numbers for its new Friday lineup with “Wanda at Large” and “Luis” combining for a 1.7/6 in adults 18 to 49 and 3.8 million viewers at 8 p.m. and “Boston Public” pulling a 2.1/7 in the demo and 5.3 million viewers at 9 p.m. Fox’s lineup all finished in fourth place for the night.

ABC won the night in adults 18 to 49 with a 3.7/12, followed by CBS (3.4/11), NBC (2.8/9), Fox (1.9/6) The WB (1.2/4) and UPN (0.7/2). In total viewers, CBS won the night with 13.2 millio
n, followed by ABC (10 million), NBC (8.1 million), Fox (4.5 million), The WB (3.4 million) and UPN (1.5 million).

TBS Gets ‘Sex and the City’: TBS said today that it has acquired the off-net rights to HBO’s “Sex and the City” and plans to debut the series as a weekly prime-time program starting in June 2004. The move, which had been widely expected, comes on the heels of the series’ syndication deal, inked with Tribune and slated to begin telecasts in September 2005.

Ratigan Joins CNBC: CNBC today said that it had hired former Bloomberg News global managing editor Dylan Ratigan as anchor of new hour-long program that will feature topical business news and newsmakers. The show, which has yet to be named, will run Monday-Friday at 6 p.m., in place of the last half-hour of a 90-minue “CNBC Business Center” and network program “CNBC’s CheckPoint.”

Mr. Ratigan joined CNBC from RatiganGroup, a financial and executive communcation and media strategy firm he started after leaving Bloomberg in March 2003. As a result of joining CNBC, Mr. Ratigan has shuttered his firm.

At Bloomberg, Mr. Ratigan supervised more than 110 reporters worldwide and co-created and hosted “Morning Call,” which ran on Bloomberg and USA Network. Before that, he established Bloomberg’s mergers-and-acquisitions beat, covered the U.S. stock market and formed Bloomberg’s capital markets and equity derivatives coverage. Mr. Ratigan also worked as a contributor to ABC News.

DirecTV Beating Expectations: DirecTV said today that it has raised its third-quarter and full-year guidance for revenue and new customers thanks to the strength of several customer promotions, including one aimed at football fans.

The No. 1 satellite operator said it now expects third-quarter revenue to reach $1.93 billion, up from previous guidance of $1.88 billion. For the year, guidance has been raised to $7.6 billion from $7.5 billion. The company’s operating profit targets of $90 million to $115 million for the quarter and $475 million for the full year are unchanged.

The increased revenue number is the result of an increase in expected new subscriber growth and the company’s effort to continue holding down customer churn. DirecTV estimates it will add 320,000 net new subscribers for the third quarter, while the full-year growth was increased to 1.05 million from an earlier projection of 900,000. Churn is expected to hit 1.6 percent in the quarter and fall to 1.5 percent for the year. The company’s quarterly results will be released Oct. 14.

Cartoon Network’s Kuechenmeister Retires: Cartoon Network said Monday that veteran sales and marketing executive Karl Kuechenmeister will retire Oct. 3 after 30 years in network, syndication and cable television.

Mr. Kuechenmeister spent seven years at Cartoon Network, most recently as senior VP of sales and marketing. Before that, he was senior VP at One World Entertainment, a division of MTV Networks. He also had stints at CBS, NBC, Telepictures and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. He started his career in 1973 as a sales development analyst at CBS Television Network.

There was no word on Mr. Kuechenmeister’s replacement.

Glenn-Chesloff Hired as Lifetime’s VP of Planning: Lifetime Entertainment said Monday it has named Leslie Glenn-Chesloff senior VP of planning, scheduling and acquisitions, responsible for scheduling and acquisitions for Lifetime channels, including Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network and Lifetime Real Women. She will be based in New York and report to Barbara Fisher, Lifetime’s executive VP of entertainment.

Ms. Glenn-Chesloff joins Lifetime from WPHL-TV in Philadelphia, where she spent three years and most recently was VP and general manager of the Tribune-owned station. Before that, she held a similar title at WLVI-TV in Boston for three years, served as director of programming and creative services at WWOR-TV in Secaucus, N.J., and as director of programming, research and cable at WAGA-TV in Atlanta.