Cable Notes

Mar 8, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Fox Sports Net is going shorthand. Beginning a gradual rollout this week, the name will be changed to simply FSN. During the transition, promotions will include both FSN and the full name, Fox Sports Net, underneath, according to Advertising Age. The dual logo will make appearances in commercials, billboards and signage, and during sports coverage on the network, until September. At that point the FSN acronym will be left to stand on its own, just in time for the college football, National Hockey League and National Basketball Association seasons.

DeLay Throws Support Behind a la Carte Cable

In the interest of giving cable subscribers more power to determine the kind of television shows allowed into their homes, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, last week announced his support for a campaign to encourage cable to offer programming a la carte. As its stands, the cable industry packages its programming in tiers. But in remarks at a National Association of Broadcasters-sponsored seminar, Rep. DeLay said he wanted the cable industry to voluntarily reconfigure its program packaging to let consumers pick and pay for only the cable TV networks they want. Brian Dietz, a spokesman for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, said the cable industry opposes a la carte on grounds that it might reduce the availability and diversity of cable programming and undermine industry economics.

TBS Unveils Five-Show Reality Slate

TBS announced a slate of five new reality shows last week as part of its branding push to become known as a comedy network. The slate includes an untitled reality dating series from Nash Entertainment; a collaboration with the creators of the original “Gilligan’s Island” sitcom, Lloyd and Sherwood Schwartz, to shift the concept to the reality genre; “Out-Foxxed,” A hidden-camera show hosted by Kel Mitchell and executive-produced by Jamie Foxx that gives family members an opportunity to “out-foxx” each other with pranks; an untitled project hosted by “Sex and the City” author Candace Bushnell that takes four single girls on a manhunt; and another hidden-camera practical joke show, this one executive produced by Martin Lawrence.

USA to Televise Olympic Team Trials

In one of the first moves coordinating programming between NBC and USA Network, NBC Sports said USA will become the cable home of the U.S. Olympic Team and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials beginning this year. The deal is conditioned on the closing of the NBC-Universal acquisition. “We also intend to have Olympics coverage from Athens on USA, if and when NBC and Universal complete their proposed merger,” said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports and Olympics. USA will air 24 hours of trials coverage, mostly on Saturday afternoons, from May through July.

Lifetime Renews `1-800-MISSING’

Lifetime has renewed the drama series “1-800-MISSING” for a second season, the network announced last week. Vivica A. Fox will replace lead actress Gloria Reuben to co-star with Caterina Scorsone. Ms. Fox will play an FBI agent who’ll bend any rule to solve missing persons cases.