News Briefs

Nov 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Tween star Hilary Duff has signed a talent holding deal with CBS. The network plans to develop a sitcom around her for the 2004-05 season. Ms. Duff’s mother, Susan Duff, will serve as an executive producer on the project. Ms. Duff was the star of Disney Channel’s “Lizzie McGuire” series and the Disney-produced feature film “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.” Her TV future was up in the air after a very public dispute with Disney over her compensation for a proposed sequel to the movie.
Schmo No More
“The Joe Schmo Show” star Matt Kennedy Gould has signed a development deal with Spike TV. Mr. Gould, whose likability was often credited for the faux-reality show’s steep ratings climb, will tape brief introductions to upcoming “Joe Schmo” reruns. Mr. Gould also will co-host a prime-time special Nov. 23 that showcases popular holiday gifts for men.
Simpson Signs Comedy Deal With ABC
ABC has signed a comedy development deal with singer Jessica Simpson. Ms. Simpson has gained much notoriety from the reality series “Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica” on MTV, which stars Ms. Simpson and her husband, Nick Lachey. Ted Harbert and Ms. Simpson’s manager, Joe Simpson, are attached to the project as executive producers.
“Jessica has infectious energy and unmistakable star quality,” said ABC Entertainment President Susan Lyne. “She also has a built-in fan base in both music and television, which is a great jumping-off point for us. We’re looking forward to developing the ideal showcase for her considerable talents.”
`Tracy Morgan Show’ Gets Tuesday Slot
“The Tracy Morgan Show,” a half-hour program starring comedian and NBC “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Tracy Morgan, will debut Tuesday, Dec. 2. “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 prime time 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: SVU,” 10 p.m. A second “Tracy Morgan” will air Thursday, Dec. 4, 8:30 p.m. Additionally that night, “Good Morning, Miami” returns to Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.
TVB to Hold Marketing Confab in April
The Television Bureau of Advertising announced last week that it will hold its 2004 Marketing Conference on April 15 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York. The confab will be held in partnership with the New York Auto Show, marking the third time that TVB has partnered with the auto show and the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association. TVB moved its conference to Manhattan two years ago after 10 years of joint meetings with the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas. The 2004 conference again will have an emphasis on the automotive ad category.
`Partridge’ Lands at VH1
Sony Pictures Television will produce a new version of the 1970s classic TV series “The Partridge Family” for VH1. SPT will also produce a reality series documenting the casting of the show. Both series will air in 2004 and will be executive produced by Ken Mok (“Making the Band”).