Baseball Wins Again for Fox
Fox is on a hot streak with the Major League Baseball playoffs this year. The network won Wednesday night in total viewers and adults 18 to 49 airing National League and American League Championship Series games. Fox scored a 12.9 household rating/20 share for the game broadcasts, according to Nielsen Media Research overnight metered-market ratings. That’s 48 percent higher than ratings for the equivalent broadcast last year.
Fox aired a split broadcast, with the Fox affiliate in each market getting that market’s preferred game-either Chicago Cubs vs. Florida Marlins or Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees-and the other game running on FX.
In the night’s other highlights, ABC and NBC tied for second in adults 18 to 49 for the night with a 4.4/12, according to Nielsen fast affiliate data. “The Bachelor” (5.9/15) anchored ABC’s night, up more than a full rating point from last week, but new shows “It’s All Relative” (3.9/11) and “Karen Sisco” (3.1/8) showed slight decreases.
NBC got a strong performance out of its old reliable “Law & Order” (6.1/16), but saw a dropoff for “The West Wing,” which decreased by more than a rating point in the demo.
CBS sitcom “The King of Queens” dropped 25 percent in adults 18 to 49 and dropped about 2.6 million viewers week to week after its stellar one-hour premiere last week. “Becker” premiered to a fourth-place finish in its new time slot after “King of Queens” with a 3.1/7 in adults 18 to 49 and 11.1 million total viewers. CBS’s new drama “Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.” held steady week to week, but numbers continued to disappoint with a 2.1/5 and 6.7 million viewers.
The WB’s combo of “Smallville” (2.8/8) and “Angel” (2.6/6) came in fourth for the night in adults 18 to 49, beating CBS and UPN.
For the night, ABC and NBC tied for second in adults 18 to 49 with a 4.4/12, followed by The WB (2.7/7), CBS (2.5/7) and UPN (1.5/4). In total viewers for the night, NBC finished second with 12.5 million, followed by ABC (10.5 million), CBS (8.8 million), The WB (6 million) and UPN (3.4 million).
Louise Sams to Head Turner: Veteran TBS exec Louise Sams has been named head of Turner Broadcasting System International, company chairman and CEO Philip I. Kent announced today. Ms. Sams, who previously served as general counsel for TBS, will replace departing president Andy Bird.
“Louise has been directly involved in our international business for more than seven years, contributing to strategy, policy and operating decisions in scope far beyond her capacity as our company’s chief legal adviser,” Mr. Kent said. “Through our close working relationship over many years, I have come to respect and depend on Louise’s business acumen, vision and integrity.”
Donahue Upped to COO at BWCS: Dan Donahue was promoted to chief operating officer at the literary agency Broder-Webb-Chervin-Silbermann. He will oversee business affairs development and manage the day-to-day operations of the agency.
Mr. Donahue has been at BWCS since 1998 as a business affairs executive.
3 Arts Aligns With 20th: 3 Arts Entertainment is parking its TV production arm at 20th Century Fox Television for the next two years. 3 Arts principals Howard Klein, Michael Rotenberg and Erwin Stoff will develop and produce TV series for all the networks. Veteran creative executive Steve Tann also is joining 3 Arts as head of its television division. He previously was senior VP at New Line Television.
Court TV to Air ‘Railroaded in Texas’: Court TV plans to air a one-hour documentary, “Railroaded in Texas,” on Oct. 30 at 10 p.m. Hosted by Court TV anchor James Curtis, the show tells the story of a notorious travesty of justice that occurred following a large-scale drug sting in Tulia, Texas. In all 46 men and women were arrested and convicted based on testimony by one officer and tainted evidence before being pardoned.
Nickelodeon Theme Hotel to Open in 2005: Nickelodeon is partnering with Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts to develop the first Nick-themed hotel. The hotel, in Orlando, Fla., will be called the Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn and is scheduled to open in early 2005. Nickelodeon will convert the popular Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort, located in Lake Buena Vista and convenient to Orlando’s major theme-park attraction. Nick will add its signature entertainment and style to the current hotel’s 800 suites, which include two- and three-bedroom Kidsuites that give kids their own space and entertainment areas and provide parents with a comfortable, family-focused environment.
Fischer Named Turner Executive VP of Market Strategy: Barry Fischer was named executive VP of market strategy for Turner Broadcasting System. He was previously executive VP of marketing and research for Turner Broadcasting Sales. Fischer, who was directly responsible for Turner’s Media at the Millennium research projects, will now report directly to Vicky Miller, TBS’s chief financial officer.
Loral Rejects EchoStar Bid: Bankrupt satellite producer and operator Loral Space & Communications rejected EchoStar Communications’ $1.85 billion offer to buy all of its assets late Wednesday, saying the bid was too low.
EchoStar’s latest offer, which it had upped from a previous bid of $1.45 billion in August, comes on the eve of a scheduled Oct. 20 auction of Loral’s assets. Rival satellite company Intelsat agreed in July to buy six North American satellites from Loral for nearly $1.1 billion, and has a $1 billion offer on the table for the rest of Loral’s assets.
Loral Chairman and CEO Bernard Schwartz said EchoStar’s offer “undervalues Loral’s businesses, especially in light of the significant increase in value that has been achieved since the beginning of the company’s reorganization case in July.” He added that he thinks the best course of action for the company is to proceed with the auction and emerge from bankruptcy.
CBS to Gain Affiliate: CBS is picking up a new affiliate in the Springfield-Holyoke, Mass., market under a long-term agreement with Meredith Broadcasting. Meredith expects imminent FCC approval of its acquisition of Trinity Broadcasting station W67DF, which will switch to the call letters WSHM-TV.
The station, which will become a stand-alone CBS affiliate on Jan. 1, 2004, will begin carrying CBS programming retransmitted by Meredith-owned Hartford, Conn., CBS affiliate WFSB-TV, which will operate WSHM.
According to a Meredith spokesman, WFSB VP and General Manager Elden Hale wants to start a news operation “as soon as feasible” at WSHM. The station has been carrying religious programming.
Springfield-Holyoke is the 106th-largest market, according to Nielsen Media Research. With the addition of the station Meredith will have six CBS affiliates in its 12-station group, which reaches 9 percent of the TV homes in the U.S. universe.