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Nov 25, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Police Investigate “Real World” Assault Claim

San Diego police are investigating a report that a sexual assault occurred inside the “Real World” house Nov. 14. Details about the incident and whether the claim involves a cast member were not immediately available.

The show’s producers released the following statement: “The producers and the cast of ‘The Real World’ are cooperating fully with local authorities investigating an alleged incident at ‘The Real World’ house. We have been informed by the police department that no ‘Real World’ cast or crew members are suspected in the investigation.”

Fox Picks Up ‘Tru’: Fox ordered seven more episodes of “Tru Calling,” giving the network a full season’s worth of episodes. The drama usually finishes fifth in its tough Thursday 8 p.m. time slot against NBC’s “Friends” and CBS’s “Survivor.” In its last airing “Tru Calling” pulled a 1.5/4 in adults 18 to 49 and 3.8 million viewers. “Tru Calling” is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Original Film.

MSNBC cancels “Buchanan & Press”: Effective Monday, MSNBC will replace “Buchanan & Press” with “The Abrams Report” at 6 p.m. (ET) weekdays. MSNBC will repeat “Abrams Report” at 9 p.m., its current time slot, until replacing it with a new program being developed by Bruce Perlmutter and some of Dan Abrams’ staff, in early 2004.

Bill Press and Pat Buchanan remain under contract to MSNBC as prime-time and daytime contributors, MSNBC President Erik Sorenson said in an internal memo Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Sorenson praised the “Buchanan & Press” staff, headed by executive producer Tammy Haddad, and said, “I have plans to retain everyone associated with this program, reassigning them to other efforts at MSNBC.”

He said the decision to move “Abrams Report” to 6 p.m. was designed to help Mr. Abrams “better balance his duties at MSNBC as host of ‘The Abrams Report’ and at NBC as chief legal correspondent.”

“Many days Dan begins his day at 5 a.m. in preparation for appearances on ‘Today’-works the phones, sometimes sits in a courtroom all day long, then tries to prepare for his show (including his editorial) at 9 p.m.,” Mr. Sorenson said. “His day often ends close to midnight. Add to that many cross-country flights and extensive road work … and now the explosive Michael Jackson case . . .well, I’m exhausted just writing about it. Dan and I have agreed-it looked much easier ‘on paper’-particularly with NBC News now demanding more of his time than ever. Furthermore, while Dan has enjoyed the billing in the heart of prime time, the competition there is obviously fierce, and there was always a much larger audience for ‘The Abrams Report’ at 6 p.m. than there has been at 9 p.m.”

Deal Struck on Ownership Cap: In a surprise twist on the media ownership front, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the White House cut a deal Monday night that would permanently set the cap on national TV ownership at 39 percent of television homes. Pending appropriations legislation, which was subject to a White House veto threat, would have rolled back the Federal Communications Commission’s cap to 35 percent for one year only. Under the new agreement, sources said, the appropriations legislation would be changed to make clear that the 39 percent cap is permanent — and that the FCC would not be able to raise it in the future without legislative authorization.

Aniston Gets ‘Grizzly’: Jennifer Aniston will star in “Growing Up Grizzly 2,” a one-hour Animal Planet special premiering Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. The special brings viewers up to date with orphaned grizzly bears Bart and Honey-Bump. The cubs were first introduced in “Growing Up Grizzly,” starring Brad Pitt.