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News Briefs

Apr 26, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Alliance Atlantis Communications, the company that co-produces the “CSI” franchise, announced Friday that it has streamlined its operations as part of a broader restructuring and has created the new position of chief operating officer as part of the reorganization. Phyllis Yaffe, who has been CEO of the Toronto-based company’s broadcast group, will assume the COO role, overseeing the company’s previously separate corporate, broadcast and entertainment groups, which have consolidated into a single entity. Alliance Atlantis in December said it was realigning its businesses while at the same time ending its in-house movie and television production operation in favor of focusing on the company’s broadcast operations. The “CSI” franchise is not affected by the changes. Separately, the company late Thursday said it is once again delaying the release of its 2003 financial results and hopes to announce its earnings by May 17. The company cited the complexity of the reorganization as the reason behind the delay. It marks the second time Alliance Atlantis has postponed the release of its earnings.
ABC Renews `The Bachelor’ for Two Cycles
ABC has renewed its reality franchise “The Bachelor,” produced by Mike Fleiss, for two more cycles. Not yet decided is whether the new cycles will consist of two editions of “The Bachelor” or one edition of “The Bachelor” and one edition of “The Bachelorette.” “The Bachelor” is ABC’s top-rated show in adults 18 to 49.
Comcast to Test Digeo’s Moxi System
Next-generation set-top box player Digeo has landed Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, for a commercial trial of its service later this summer. That brings Digeo’s customer count to three of the top five multiple system operators, since Charter and Adelphia are also on board. Comcast will deploy about 40,000 Motorola Broadband Media Centers with Digeo’s Moxi service later this year. The operator has not revealed in which market it will roll out the Moxi service, which includes a digital video recorder, HDTV capability and a cable modem. Digeo also announced that Charter plans to roll out the service commercially this week in Rochester, Minn., following a trial there. Adelphia said in January that it would introduce 25,000 units in May or June in Los Angeles. “[The Comcast deal] is a big validation,” said Bert Kolde, Digeo’s chief operating officer.
Creative Arts Emmys to Return to Single Ceremony
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences voted last week to return to a single-ceremony format for the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. Last year the academy trimmed the ceremony by 15 categories and presented those awards in a separate ceremony hours before the main event. The move angered some academy members, who felt they were being shut out of the more widely covered event. “We listened to our membership and it was clear that the one-year pilot test of two separate award ceremonies, although well received, didn’t provide enough sense of community for the nominees,” said an academy spokeswoman.
Fox Sets New Season, Announces Renewals
Fox will roll out its new season June 8, the network announced last week. It will debut six series in June: dramas “The Jury” and “North Shore,” sitcoms “Method & Red” and “The Quintuplets” and reality shows “The Casino” and “The Simple Life 2.” All of the new series also have same-week repeats scheduled. Also last week, Fox renewed dramas “The O.C.” and “24” and sitcoms “The Bernie Mac Show” and “Malcolm in the Middle” for the 2004-05 season. That makes “The O.C.” the first freshman series to get a second-year pickup. Still in question are the fates of drama “Tru Calling” and sitcom “Arrested Development.” Fox also ordered three more years of “MadTV,” which airs in late-night on Saturdays, taking it through the 2006-07 season.