Syndie Notes

Nov 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Now that MGM is officially on board as a National Association of Television Program Executives floor exhibitor in January, NATPE president and CEO Rick Feldman has cemented plans for the three-day convention in Las Vegas. Mr. Feldman said during a press briefing last week that the annual market will refocus its attention toward the needs of program buyers, with a design to make the event “informative, fun and most importantly, worthwhile for everyone.” Among those who’ve agreed to participate in panels are executives Rich Frank, Tony Vinciquerra, Carole Black, Mark Burnett, Mindy Herman, Caryn Mandabach and Ben Silverman. One hot-button session, “Loose Cannons: They Say What They Mean and Mean What They Say,” will feature Jerry Springer, Mark Cuban, Roger King and Jesse Ventura as speakers. Mr. Feldman said despite a welcome reception from Las Vegas to return in 2005, no plans had been set. Other venues are being explored. In addition, he said that there were no current plans to change the time frame of the event from January.
U.K. Open to `Access’
“Access Hollywood UK” made its London debut last Tuesday on United Kingdom cable channel Living-and popped its lead-in by an impressive 1,000 percent. The new series and international spinoff of the syndicated version of NBC’s strip plays as a one-hour weekly. The show features Kate Garroway and Tim Vincent as hosts. The duo were in Burbank, Calif., all week to tape the first two episodes on the set of “Access Hollywood.” The show will now be taped out of the NBC News London bureau, where the show’s set has been re-created. The U.K. version of “Access Hollywood” will serve as a European bureau for the domestic show.
Sitcom, Game Show Ratings Strong
Without the competition from baseball, access shows such as off-network sitcoms and game shows got ratings jolts for the week ending Oct. 26. Each of the top seven veteran off-net strips and the top three rookie sitcoms grew week to week, according to Nielsen Media Research. Sony’s “Seinfeld” returned to the top spot in the genre, fueled by a jump of 14 percent from the previous week to a 5.8 score. Warner Bros.’ “Friends” tied King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” for second at 5.7. “Friends” was up 6 percent week to week, while “Raymond” was up 8 percent. Warner’s “Will & Grace” rose 3 percent for the week to a 3.7 household rating, while “That ’70s Show” was up 6 percent to a 3.3. “That ’70s Show” was also the only off-net sitcom to post year-to-year gains, with a rise of 3 percent over the same week in 2002. Buena Vista’s “Home Improvement” jumped 19 percent week to week to a 3.1 rating, and Twentieth’s “King of the Hill” grew 4 percent to a 2.8. Among the off-net rookie strips, Sony’s “King of Queens” shot up 8 percent to a 2.6, Paramount’s “Becker” grew 11 percent to a 2.0 and Paramount’s “The Parkers” rose 27 percent to a 1.4 score. Most of the game shows also showed ratings gains. King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” rose 8 percent week to week to an 8.8. Sister King World program “Jeopardy!” climbed 3 percent to a 6.8. Buena Vista’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” was up 3 percent to a 3.3, while Tribune’s “Family Feud” and King World’s “Hollywood Squares” tied at 2.1. “Feud” was even for the week, while “Squares” was up 5 percent.