News Briefs

Apr 19, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Buena Vista Television has signed stations from seven additional station groups for the fall 2006 syndication premiere of “According to Jim,” reaching more than 50 percent total clearances for the sitcom. The new groups-Paramount Stations Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Granite Broadcasting, Raycom Media, Hubbard Broadcasting, Capitol Broadcasting and Acme Communications-join Tribune Broadcasting, which committed to the show last month as part of the initial rollout. Meanwhile last week, “Jim,” from Brad Grey Television in association with Touchstone Television, is one of seven series that ABC granted early renewals for next season.
The other six are scripted shows “My Wife and Kids,” “George Lopez” and “Hope & Faith” and unscripted series “Extreme Makeover,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” “NYPD Blue” has already been renewed for its 12th and final season.
National Geographic Goes to Titanic Site
Explorer Dr. Robert Ballard, who discovered the remains of the RMS Titanic on the ocean floor in 1985, will return to the wreck site in a National Geographic Channel one-hour special. “Return to Titanic” will air June 7 and include the first-ever live underwater telecast from the Titanic wreck site.
Warner Bros. TV Ups Goldstein
Leonard Goldstein has been promoted from senior VP, comedy development, for Warner Bros. Television to executive VP, development. He reports to Peter Roth, president, Warner Bros. Television, and replaces Steve Pearlman, who will exit his position to become a producer for WBTV effective June 1.
`Everwood,’ `Smallville’ Return to The WB
The WB has renewed “Everwood” and “Smallville” for another season. “Smallville” saw its ratings drop when it moved from Tuesdays to kick off Wednesday nights, but it is still a solid performer. Season-to-date, it averages a 2.1 Nielsen Media Research rating and 6 share in adults 18 to 49, making it The WB’s highest-rated scripted show in that demo. “Everwood” is averaging a 1.5/4 in the demo and has proved to be a nice companion piece for the long-running “7th Heaven.”
NBC Slates Specials
NBC will air the reality romance special “The One That Got Away” from 9-11 p.m. Monday, May 31. The special features a bachelor who must choose between seven women, all of whom are women from his past. The entire competition takes place over the two-hour episode, with his final choice being revealed at the end. NBC has also scheduled “The Mentalist” to air from 8-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, during May sweeps. “The Mentalist” showcases Gerry McCambridge’s abilities to tap into strangers’ minds and tell them personal details about their lives.
Valentine Forms First Family
Former UPN President and CEO Dean Valentine has formed a new company, First Family Entertainment, with entertainment executives Richard Cohen and Nicolas Van Dyk. The company will produce family-oriented direct-to-DVD and -video programming. First Family has a multiyear distribution deal with MGM, First Family plans to produce four to five titles a year, primarily live-action with budgets of $2 million to $3 million.