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Cable Notes: BBC America: Paul Lee Not Leaving

Apr 12, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Network CEO Paul Lee is not leaving BBC America-that’s the word at the network in response to published reports last week that he tops the list to succeed former ABC Family President Angela Shapiro. “He’s definitely not leaving,” a spokesperson said. ABC Cable Networks Group President Anne Sweeney, who has oversight of ABC Family, has been searching for months to find a replacement for Ms. Shapiro, who left the network in October. Mr. Lee has helped raise BBC America from its launch as an unknown entity in 1998 to cable cult favorite in recent years, to semi-mainstream success with two Golden Globe wins.
Comcast Adds Viacom VOD
Beginning this month Comcast will add content from Viacom-owned networks to its video-on-demand lineup, the cable operator announced last week. Shows such as “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Blues’s Clues” and early editions of “The Real World” are included in the deal. Comcast is also adding CBS programming to its VOD lineup, including “The Early Show,” “CBS Evening News” and “48 Hours.”
TBS Acquires First-Run Rights to `Jury’
Turner Broadcasting System has acquired the exclusive first-run television premiere rights to the 20th Century Fox film “Runaway Jury.” The movie will appear on TNT and TBS Superstation beginning in March 2006.
`Farscape’ Miniseries Set for Sci Fi
“Farscape” will return to Sci Fi Channel with a four-hour miniseries during the fourth quarter. “Farscape: Peacekeeper War,” produced by The Jim Henson Co. in association with Hallmark Entertainment, reunites the cast for one final adventure. “Fans will finally be happy and truly satisfied,” Sci Fi President Bonnie Hammer said at an upfront press briefing last week in New York. Sci Fi is also working on projects with Joel Schumacher, Mike Mignola and Vin Diesel as part of the network’s efforts to broaden programming into genres beyond “space operas,” she said. Sci Fi also announced that Shawn Ashmore, Danny Glover and Kristin Kreuk will join Isabella Rossellini in the upcoming miniseries “Earthsea.”
Spike TV Brings `Extreme Elimination’ to USA
Spike TV will air a special stateside version of its comic hit “Most Extreme Elimination Challenge.” The series typically takes 1980s footage from Japanese game shows and overlays irreverent English audio commentary. For the special, titled “MXC Almost Live,” Spike TV tapped Florida college students to re-create some of the challenges from the show. Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk will serve as a coach. The show will be televised Thursday, April 22.
Adelphia Launches NESN HD
Adelphia Communications has announced the launch of NESN HD, which will carry Boston Bruins playoff games and Boston Red Sox regular-season games. The service is available to Adelphia Digital Cable subscribers in New England who obtain a high-definition set-top box from the cable operator. The service is not available via satellite.