News Briefs: ABC’s ‘Alias’ to End Its Run in May 2006

Nov 28, 2005  •  Post A Comment

ABC has canceled sister Disney company Touchstone Television’s spy drama “Alias,” according to an announcement last week by Stephen McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment. The show, which stars Jennifer Garner as CIA agent Sydney Bristow, will end its five-season run in May 2006. ABC already had scheduled a broadcast hiatus due to Ms. Garner’s maternity leave. The network’s summer reality hit “Dancing With the Stars” will return for a second cycle beginning Thursday, Jan. 5, at 8 p.m. (ET), airing in the time period “Alias” has occupied this season. “Alias” is scheduled to return to the network’s lineup with original episodes in the spring and finish out its run at the end of the TV season.

CTAM Takes Over Cable TCA Press Tour

CTAM will soon take over management of the cable portion of the Television Critics Association press tour, TCA President Rob Owen announced. For 20 years the National Cable & Telecommunications Association has administered the cable portion of the semiannual press tour. NCTA will handle this January’s outing; CTAM will take over for the summer installment. A statement from TCA noted that the two organizations have significant membership overlap and that CTAM runs several annual conferences.

CBS Sets Midseason Premieres, Picks Up ‘Home’

CBS has announced premiere dates for two debuting series and has given a full-season order to freshman drama “Close to Home.” Sony Pictures Television and Paramount Network Television’s romantic drama “Love Monkey” will premiere Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 9 p.m. (ET), filling in for the concluding “Amazing Race: Family Edition” before the ninth edition of “Race” premieres later in the season. The Touchstone Television/Paramount comedy “The Jenna Elfman Show” premieres Monday, Jan. 23, at 9:30 p.m., filling in for “Out of Practice,” which will return in March. “Close to Home,” which premiered on Tuesdays but has been airing on Fridays recently, is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television. CBS has also slated March debuts for the Warner Bros. comedy “Old Christine,” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and the 20th Century Fox Television drama “The Unit” from executive producers David Mamet and Shawn Ryan, but has not set the dates for the premieres.

Trio Moving From Cable to Broadband

NBC Universal said last week it will discontinue Trio as a cable network and move the brand to broadband. The broadband version of Trio will launch Jan. 1 and include its “Brilliant But Cancelled” series and pop culture stunts such as AwardsMania. More robust Trio-exclusive broadband content will be added later in 2006, NBCU said. A year ago Trio lost a big chunk of its viewers when it was dropped by DirecTV. The service has quietly continued this year amid persistent speculation about a shutdown.

New Syndie First-Run Strips Post Ratings Gains

The three rookie nationally rated first-run strips all saw gains in their household ratings for the first full week of sweeps. Warner Bros.’ “The Tyra Banks Show” continued to shine in key female demos. Twentieth Television’s “Judge Alex” was again the top debuting first-run strip for the week ended Nov. 13, growing 5 percent over the previous week to a 2.1 national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. NBC Universal’s “Martha” was up 6 percent to a 1.8, while “Tyra” grew 7 percent to a 1.6. In women 18 to 34, “Tyra” had its best week ever with a 1.6 rating, compared with “Martha’s” 0.8 and “Alex’s” 0.6. In women 18 to 49 “Tyra” scored another series high with a 1.3 while “Martha” and “Alex” both were at 0.9. In women 25 to 54 “Tyra” matched its series high of 1.2, followed by “Martha” with a 1.1 and “Alex” with a 1.0.

Lifetime Gets Basic Cable, Syndie Rights to ‘Medium’

Lifetime Television has acquired the exclusive basic cable and syndication rights to “Medium” in a deal with Paramount Domestic Television, the network said last week. Lifetime will begin televising the show, which stars Patricia Arquette, in 2009.