NATPE Notes: Stewie to Host Talk Show on the Web

Jan 30, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Fox is planning to launch a Web-based late-night talk show featuring Stewie, the toddler character from the animated series “Family Guy.” Ross Levinson, president of Fox Interactive Media, made the announcement last Tuesday during a session at the National Association of Television Program Executives conference in Las Vegas.

The talk show will appear on fox.com and other Fox-owned Web sites, and Mr. Levinson expects users to pass it along to friends online. He added that the idea has already been pitched to Madison Avenue, which has expressed interest in the project. “I think we’re going to make some money,” he said.

Chase: VOD Campaign as Effective as Direct Mail

VOD advertising can be as effective or more effective than direct marketing, according to details of a December video-on-demand advertising campaign that Chase revealed last week at NATPE.

For four weeks in December Chase ran a VOD marketing campaign consisting of long-form spots on the Comcast Spotlight platform in Philadelphia. The Chase ads explained how Chase’s new Blink feature on its credit card works. The spots were bookended by a call to action, encouraging viewers to visit a Chase-branded Web site, fill out a survey and be entered to win a contest for a home theater system.

The two ads ran in the Philadelphia market, which counts about 785,000 VOD-enabled subscribers. To drive viewers to those spots, Chase sponsored several on-demand movie trailers, which were seen by more than 167,000 unique viewers during that four-week timeframe. Of those viewers, nearly 2,400 unique viewers watched the long-form Chase ads, said Mitch Oscar, executive VP of Carat Digital, who shepherded the VOD buy.

Warner Bros. Clears ‘Ablow’; ‘Tyra’ Renewed

In a widely expected move, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has cleared its debuting syndicated talk/therapy strip “Dr. Keith Ablow” to the Fox Television Stations for a fall 2006 launch, making the project a firm go (TelevisionWeek, Jan. 16).

Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations, and Jim Paratore, executive VP of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and president of Telepictures Productions, made the announcement at NATPE.

“Dr. Keith” is now sold in 47 of the top 50 markets and has a to-date clearance of more than 90 percent of the country.

Mr. Paratore also, as expected, confirmed that “The Tyra Banks Show” would be back for the 2006-07 season, again on the Fox Television Stations. “Tyra” has been cleared in more than 60 percent of the country for its sophomore season.

Twentieth Adds Strip Clearances

Twentieth Television updated its syndicated strip clearances for fall last Thursday from NATPE. Sitcom “Still Standing” has been cleared in 86 percent of the country. Courtroom strips “Judge Alex” (86 percent), “Divorce Court” (85 percent) and “Cristina’s Court” (80 percent) have also been cleared in the majority of the country. Newsmagazine “Geraldo at Large” has been cleared in 70 percent of the U.S. Telenovela “Desire,” which is set to debut in June, also is now cleared on stations representing 70 percent of the country.

‘Megan Mullally’ Cleared in 70 Percent of Country

NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution has sold the talk strip “The Megan Mullally Show” in more than 70 percent of the U.S. for its fall 2006 launch in national syndication. The announcement was made last Tuesday at NATPE by Barry Wallach, president of the company.

“Megan” has now been sold on broadcast stations owned by Viacom, Hearst-Argyle, Gannett, Scripps, Raycom, Cox, Young, Emmis, Belo and LIN.

New markets include WHDH-TV in Boston, WDIV-TV in Detroit, WFTV-TV in Orlando, Fla., WFTS-TV in Tampa, Fla., WOIO/WUAB-TV in Cleveland, KNSD-TV in San Diego and WISN-TV in Milwaukee.

“Megan,” which will be shot in L.A., has already been sold to its corporate cousin, the NBC owned-and-operated stations.

Sony Clears ‘Judge Lopez,’ ‘Behrendt’

Sony Pictures Television has cleared its new fall 2006 court strip “Judge Maria Lopez” in 97 percent of the country, including 49 of the top 50 markets. In addition, Sony’s new first-run talk strip slated for this fall, “The Greg Behrendt Show,” has been cleared for syndication in 87 percent of the country, including 24 of the top 25 markets.

‘Idol Rewind’ Gains 65 Percent Clearance

Tribune Entertainment has cleared its weekend off-network, one-hour “American Idol Rewind” in 65 percent of the U.S., including 24 of the top 25 markets, for this fall.

A reformatted first season of Fox’s reality series “American Idol,” the syndicated “Rewind” will feature previously unseen footage, interviews with past contestants and facts about the musical competition. Tribune is representing station and advertiser sales, while FremantleMedia North America and 19 Television are producing the series.

-Jon Lafayette, Danielle Lee, Christopher Lisotta, Adam Silver and Daisy Whitney