News Briefs

Apr 5, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The National Association of Television Program Executives has confirmed that the organization will stay in Las Vegas for next year’s convention. NATPE 2005 will take place Jan. 25-27 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center in Las Vegas. NATPE and Mandalay Bay have entered into a two-year agreement that also puts the annual conference at the resort the week of Jan. 23, 2006. “After a successful NATPE in January this year, our members made it clear that holding the event in an adjoined facility in Las Vegas made the conference a highly productive one for all,” said NATPE CEO Rick Feldman.
Martha Stewart Seeks New Trial
Lawyers for convicted felon Martha Stewart last week asked a federal judge for a new trial in her obstruction of justice case, claiming she was robbed of a fair trial based on comments made by a juror after Ms. Stewart’s conviction in early March. Ms. Stewart’s lawyers are also charging that the juror, Chappell Hartridge, lied on his juror questionnaire, failing to disclose that he had been the subject of three lawsuits and that he had been arrested for an assault on a woman with whom he was living. In papers filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the Stewart attorneys claimed Mr. Hartridge’s comments immediately following Ms. Stewart’s conviction March 5 indicate he held a bias against Ms. Stewart during the trial. Mr. Hartridge was quoted as saying Ms. Stewart’s conviction was a victory “for the little guys.”
Leno Extends Deal to 2009
Jay Leno will call NBC home for at least five more years. The top-rated late-night host, whose contract was to expire next year, has signed a deal to continue hosting the “Tonight Show” until 2009. The new contract is said to include a salary boost for Mr. Leno, who takes in around $17 million a year. With Mr. Leno as host, “Tonight Show” has won 89 weeks in a row and 32 sweeps months in a row among adults 18 to 49. This season “Tonight” is averaging a 2.3 Nielsen Media Research rating in adults 18 to 49, up 5 percent over last year. It beats CBS’s second-place “Late Show With David Letterman” by a 44 percent margin in the demo.
`That ’70s Show’ Racks Up Double Runs
Carsey-Werner-Mandabach, riding high off recent ratings spikes for sophomore off-network strip “That ’70s Show,” has now secured double runs for the strip in at least 70 percent of the country for this fall. The deals are for a two-year window, and include a barter split and cash. In addition, the company has already licensed weekend double runs of the show in more than 65 percent of the country on a barter basis.
HBO Renews `Deadwood’
HBO has renewed its new series “Deadwood” for a second season. Created and executive produced by David Milch, the show is scheduled to begin production of 12 new episodes in July, with the debut set for 2005. “I’m grateful for this vote of confidence,” Mr. Milch said in a statement. The first 12-episode season of “Deadwood” premiered March 21 to strong reviews and high viewership, thanks in part to having new episodes of “The Sopranos” as its lead-in.
Ender Promoted to VP at CBS
Chris Ender has been promoted to communications senior VP for the CBS Network. In his expanded and elevated role, he will be instrumental in developing media strategy and execution and will oversee publicity and communications functions for all of CBS’s West Coast programming divisions, including UPN and King World, in addition to CBS Entertainment. Mr. Ender, previously senior VP, communications, CBS Entertainment, will oversee the efforts of Joanna Lowry, senior VP, communications, UPN, and Arthur Sando, senior VP, communications, King World.