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News Briefs

Sep 1, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Effective Sept. 1, Nielsen Media Research’s official estimate of the total number of TV households in the United States rises to 108.4 million. The new estimate, up from 106.7 million TV homes in the 2002-03 season, means each national rating point will represent 1.084 million TV homes. The new estimate represents an increase of 1.7 million television households from the 2002-03 season. Also rising, effective with the 2003-04 season, will be the number of persons 2 and older in the TV universe (275.6 million, up from 272.0 million last season). The 18 to 49 demo so avidly sought by advertisers will number 128.8 million for the 2003-04 season. Nielsen annually reports television households and persons estimates based on information from a variety of sources, including Claritas, the U.S. Census Bureau and Nielsen Media Research’s samples. In other Nielsen news, the company decided not to include national rating information in weekly or season averages for cable and broadcast shows from Thursday, Aug. 14, through Saturday, Aug. 16, because of the Northeast/Midwest blackout.
`NASCAR in Car,’ iO Nab Emmys
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Interactive Peer Group awarded 2003 interactive television Emmy Awards to “NASCAR In Car” on iN Demand and iO: Interactive Optimum digital cable service from Cablevision Systems Corp. “NASCAR In Car” was honored for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television for a Single Program. iO was honored for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television for an Interactive TV Service. The interactive awards will be presented during the Primetime Emmy Creative Arts Awards ceremony on Sept. 13 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. According to Peer Group Governors Brian Seth Hurst and Chris Swain, the 48 entries covered every major broadcast and cable network, and winners were selected by members of the Academy’s Interactive Media Peer Group. In other ATAS news, the Academy announced that “Will & Grace” stars Eric McCormack and Debra Messing will be presenters for the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which are set to air live on Fox on Sept. 21 from the Shrine Auditorium.
NBC Renews `Fear Factor’
NBC finalized a deal that had been in the works for months to renew “Fear Factor” for up to three more years. The renewal deal with producer Endemol USA covers the 2004-05 season with options for two more years, which would take it through the 2006-07 season. NBC Enterprises also acquired the off-network syndication rights to “Fear Factor.” While most reality shows don’t have much, if any, value in the syndication marketplace, “Fear Factor” is a self-contained show that repeats extremely well for NBC.
Leach to Host `Life of Luxury’
ABC is producing a one-hour special called “Life of Luxury,” hosted by Robin Leach, best known for hosting “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” The show will look at the lives of the super-rich and explore how they made their money and what they spend it on. The special will air sometime during the fall season, but no date has been set. It could serve as a back-door pilot, in the same way that “Extreme Makeover” did on the ABC Network. The show will be executive produced by Andy Friendly, the former president of programming and production at King World. The project reunites Mr. Friendly and Mr. Leach, who first worked together in 1981 on “Entertainment Tonight.”
NATPE Adds 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.