ABC Cancels ‘L.A. Dragnet’
ABC has canceled “L.A. Dragnet,” which has been languishing on Saturday nights at 10 p.m. following its incompatible “Wonderful World of Disney” movie lead-in. In its last airing, “Dragnet” scored a 1.5/5 in adults 18 to 49 and 4.5 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. “Dragnet” was pulled from sweeps immediately, but the network has five more episodes produced that will air at a later date. This Saturday, it will be replaced by a repeat of the hour-long “8 Simple Rules” episode that dealt with the death of John Ritter’s character. “America’s Funniest Home Videos” will air in the time slot on Nov. 15 and Nov. 22.
CBS Replaces ‘Reagans’ With Regular Series: CBS will replace the pulled “The Reagans” miniseries with repeats of its regular series. On Sunday, Nov. 16, CBS will air the two-part “CSI” season opener from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, a repeat of the season premiere of “Without a Trace” will air at 9 p.m., followed by a repeat of “CSI: Miami” at 10 p.m.
‘Tracy Morgan Show’ to Debut: Comedian and NBC “Saturday Night Live” star Tracy Morgan will make his prime-time debut Tuesday, December 2 with the half-hour comedy “The Tracy Morgan Show.”
“Tracy Morgan has earned a legion of fans from his gallery of memorable characters on ‘SNL,’ and we are giving him a bigger platform in primetime to showcase his likable appeal,” said NBC President Jeff Zucker.
NBC’s new Tuesday night schedule is as follows: “The Tracy Morgan Show,” (8 p.m.), “Whoopi,” (8:30 p.m.) “Frasier,” (9 p.m.) “Happy Family” (9:30 p.m.) and “Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit” (10 p.m.).
A second “Tracy Morgan” will air on Thursday, December 4 at 8:30 p.m. Additionally that night, “Good Morning, Miami” returns to Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.
‘Tarzan’ Takes Break: The WB has put “Tarzan” on a production hiatus. The show will air three more episodes throughout November sweeps. Five episodes have already aired and eight have been produced. The much-hyped “Tarzan” has disappointed in the ratings. It is averaging a 1.7/4 in adults 18 to 49, a 1.7/5 in persons 12 to 34 and 3.9 million total viewers. The WB will continue to evaluate the show’s ratings before deciding if the show will return.
UPN Orders More ‘Jake’: UPN has given a full-season order to Wednesday night drama “Jake 2.0.” “Jake” had seemed like a long shot for a back nine pickup since it has only been averaging a 1 Nielsen Media Research rating and 3 share in adults 18 to 49 and 2.6 million total viewers. ” ‘Jake 2.0’ is a fresh twist on the superhero genre, and we’re really pleased with the quality of the show, the talented cast and the creative team behind it,” said UPN Entertainment President Dawn Ostroff. “Jake 2.0” is produced by Viacom Productions.
NAB to Launch Armed Forces Relief Trust Campaign: The National Association of Broadcasters today announced the launch of a new public service campaign to support the Armed Forces Relief Trust, a nonprofit fund created to help U.S. troops and their families. “As the war on terrorism continues, many broadcasters are seeing firsthand the personal and financial hardships facing our troops and their families,” said Eddie Fritts, NAB president and CEO. “I’m confident that men and women in uniform and their families can count on our support.”
CBS Wins Wednesday With ‘CMAs’: CBS won last night in adults 18 to 49 and total viewers thanks to a stellar performance by the “Country Music Awards.” The Awards scored a 6.1/16 in adults 18 to 49 and 20.7 million total viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data.
The “CMAs” were up 3 million viewers over last year and even in ratings among adults 18 to 49. It was the awards’ best delivery since 1997 in total viewers.
Fox’s Wednesday lineup was down from its premiere a week ago. “That ’70s Show” scored a third-place 3.7/11 in adults 18 to 49, down 26 percent week to week; new sitcom “A Minute With Stan Hooper” pulled a fifth-place 2.5/7, down 30 percent week to week; and “The O.C.” was in fourth place with a 3.5/9, down 17 percent week to week.
Despite competition from the “CMAs,” ABC stayed strong with “The Bachelor” scoring a second-place 6.0/15 in adults 18 to 49 and “My Wife and Kids” finishing second with a 4.0/11. NBC’s “Law & Order” turned in a second-place 5.6/15 at 10 p.m.
For the night, CBS won in adults 18 to 49 with a 6.1/16, followed by ABC (4.3/11), NBC (4.2/11), Fox (3.3/9), The WB (2.4/6) and UPN (1.2/3). In total viewers, CBS won the night with 20.7 million, followed by NBC (12.6 million), ABC (10.1 million), Fox (7 million), The WB (5.3 million) and UPN (3 million).
Sinclair Shows Profit, Warns of Weakness Ahead: Sinclair Broadcast Group said Thursday that it recorded a third-quarter profit as the company wound down its capital spending and reported a mixed bag on the advertising front. The company warned that the fourth quarter would likely see further weakness due to the muddled advertising picture.The Baltimore-based owner of 62 television stations posted a quarterly profit of $3.9 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with year-earlier red ink of $24 million, or 28 cents a share. Revenue slipped 1 percent to $161.3 million.
The company’s results came as Sinclair reported disparate performance in the advertising realm. Local advertising revenue climbed 4.2 percent from the 2002 quarter on the strength of ad dollars from the automotive, services and schools sectors, while national advertising fell more than 8 percent due to weakness from the soft drinks, movies, fast food and beer/wine sectors. Political advertising spending tumbled 78 percent in the quarter to $1.3 million.
That weakness was offset by direct mail advertising revenue, which more than doubled to $5.9 million.
On a broadcast network basis, Sinclair reported that time sales at the company’s UPN and CBS stations rose 8.4 percent and 2 percent, respectively, while Fox, WB and NBC stations were flat. Time sales at the company’s ABC stations slipped 7 percent.
The continued weakness of national advertising, coupled with the expected absence of political revenue, is leading Sinclair to forecast that fourth-quarter revenue will fall between 9.7 percent and 10.6 percent. Further, the company expects TV production expenses to rise 5.3 percent to $78.5 million due to higher news and sales costs.