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Oct 6, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Showtime Launches Documentary Series

Showtime, which is increasingly relying on original content, is developing a new programming category it is calling “Sho Exposure,” which will include a showing each month of documentaries that were either theatrical releases, acquisitions or original programs.

In that vein, the network said Monday that it has acquired from First Look Media the television rights to the documentary “Mayor of the Sunset Strip,” which was directed by George Hickenlooper and is slated for theatrical release in early 2004. The film chronicles the travails of Los Angeles radio disc jockey Rodney Bingenheimer.

As part of the Sho Exposure series, the network plans to air “Orson Welles: The One Man Band” this month, followed by “James Ellroy’s Feast of Death” in November and “Trust Me” in December. Among the titles scheduled to run next year are “Bowling for Columbine,” “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” “Step into Liquid” and “Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy.” Showtime is also slated to run the two-part original documentary “The Opposite Sex,” directed by Oscar nominee Josh Aronson.

Cubs, Braves Give Fox Best Division Series Ratings Ever: Fox pulled in more total viewers and young-adult viewers than any other broadcast network last night with its Major League Baseball Game 5 matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves. It scored a 12 overnight rating and 18 share in households, according to Nielsen Media Research, making it the second-highest-rated game ever for a division game and Fox’s best division series overnight rating ever.

The game, in which the Cubs beat the Braves for their first playoff series win since 1908, helped put a dent in CBS’s and NBC’s ratings, both of which were down week to week. ABC’s performance was about the same as a week ago.

The only new show to debut last night was The WB’s “Tarzan,” which held a respectable 84 percent of its “Charmed” lead-in’s 18 to 49 audience. “Tarzan” scored a 2.0/5 in adults 18 to 49 and 5.3 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data.

ABC had a strong performance in adults 18 to 49, coming in second to baseball with a 3.5/9. Freshman drama “10-8” surprised with a time period victory in the demo (3.4/9) over CBS’s “Cold Case” (3.2/8) and NBC’s “American Dreams” (2.6/7). “10-8” grew 31 percent in adults 18 to 49 from its premiere a week earlier-a feat most other freshman dramas weren’t able to accomplish.

CBS’s freshman drama “Cold Case” pulled a solid 13.7 million total viewers, leading the scripted choices at 8 p.m.

At 9 p.m. ABC’s “Alias” finished behind baseball and NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” but still posted a strong 4.1/9 in the demo. And ABC’s “The Practice” (3.9/9) was the scripted choice at 10 p.m., beating NBC’s “The Lyon’s Den” (3.4/8) and CBS’s movie “Blessings” (3.1/8).

For the night, Fox won in adults 18 to 49 and total viewers (final time-zone adjusted ratings won’t be available until tomorrow). In adults 18 to 49, for the night, ABC was second with a 3.5/9, followed by NBC (3.0/8), CBS (2.8/7) and The WB (1.7/4). In total viewers for the night, CBS was second with 12.3 million, followed by NBC (9.5 million), ABC (9.4 million) and The WB (4.3 million).

In other weekend highlights, ABC debuted revamped sophomore series “L.A. Dragnet” in its new 10 p.m. Saturday time slot. It finished second in adults 18 to 49 with a 1.8/6 but only reached 5.9 million total viewers, placing third in its time slot.

Fox won the night in adults 18 to 49 with its longtime combo of “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted” scoring a 2.7/9. That was followed by ABC (2.4/8), NBC (2.1/7) and CBS (1.5/5). In total viewers, CBS was tops with “48 Hours” and scripted dramas “Hack” and “The District” pulling an average 8.4 million viewers. Fox and ABC tied with 7.7 million total viewers, while NBC finished last with 5.7 million.

Most Friday night numbers were down, but CBS’s “Joan of Arcadia” and ABC’s “Hope & Faith” continued to stand out in their second episodes.

“Joan” won the 8 p.m. hour in adults 18 to 49 with a 3.0/11 and 12 million total viewers. “Hope & Faith” anchored ABC’s lineup, turning in a first-place 3.6/12 in adults 18 to 49 and second-place 9.8 million total viewers at 9 p.m.

CBS won every half-hour of the night in total viewers with its new lineup, but the real surprise is the strength it has shown the past two weeks in the younger demos. Not only did “Joan” win the 8 p.m. hour in adults 18 to 49, but the second half-hour of “JAG” won its time slot and “The Handler” (2.7/9) beat out ABC’s “20/20” (2.5/8) and NBC’s “Boomtown” (2.2/7) at 10 p.m.

ABC’s new sitcom “Married to the Kellys” had a decent showing in its premiere, scoring a second-place 2.9/10 in adults 18 to 49 and 8.2 million total viewers. It built 7 percent on its “George Lopez” lead-in in the demo.

Despite the increased competition, The WB grew week to week, with its comedy lineup pulling a 1.4/4, compared with last week’s 1.2/4.

For the night, ABC (2.9/9) and CBS (2.9/10) tied in adults 18 to 49, followed by NBC (2.3/8), Fox (1.7/6), The WB (1.4/4) and UPN (0.5/2). In total viewers, CBS won the night with 12 million, followed by ABC (8.6 million), NBC (7 million), Fox (5 million), The WB (3.5 million) and UPN 1.4 million.

MLB Offers Online Live Video Streaming: Major League Baseball is now offering live streaming video pregame shows before every postseason game through the World Series on its Web site, www.mlb.com. The shows run one hour before the first game of the day and a half-hour before the subsequent games each day. Guest analysts will include baseball expert and former ESPN anchor and current host of the NFL Network Rich Eisen, All-Star Matt Williams, Major League managers Davey Johnson and Bob Boone, “Wheel of Fortune” host and MLB.com Radio regular Pat Sajak and baseball legend and World Series-winning manager Tommy Lasorda. They will join MLB.com hosts Billy Sample, Sam Marchiano, Michele LaFountain, and Victor Rojas for pregame analyses, including highlights, key matchups, statistical breakdowns and more. Visitors to the Web site can listen for free and interact with the show via e-mail and live call-ins.

Univision Hires Business Development Executive: Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications said Monday that it has named Jorge Daboub as VP of marketing and business development for the company’s television group. He will be based in Los Angeles and will be responsible for developing marketing platforms and programs aimed at reaching Hispanic consumers.

Mr. Daboub joins Univision from its Los Angeles television station KMEX-TV, where he has been director of marketing and business development since 1999. A veteran of the station since 1993, Mr. Daboub started as a local sales manager. Before that, he held positions at Telemundo’s Los Angeles station KVEA-TV, Vista magazine and Pitney Bowes.

MGM Television Promotes Lisa Klein Fitzpatrick: MGM Worldwide Television on Monday said it promoted Lisa Klein Fitzpatrick to senior VP of business and legal affairs.

Ms. Fitzpatrick will continue to run the business and legal affairs department, reporting to Jim Griffiths, president of MGM’s TV distribution division, and Jay Rakow, MGM’s senior executive VP and general counsel.

With MGM since 2000, Ms. Fitzpatrick served most recently as VP of business and legal affairs. Before that, she was a VP of business and legal affairs at Telemundo Network and previously served as director of business and legal affairs at Polygram Television.