Notes From The Broadcast Press Tour

Jan 23, 2006  •  Post A Comment


After touting the new strength of Friday night’s “Ghost Whisperer” and “Close to Home,” CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler expressed disappointment over CBS’s new challenges with its TV Sunday night movie.

“It’s an incredibly competitive time period,” she said. “We’re certainly looking at Sunday night with a tremendous amount of scrutiny.”

  • Trading programming between CBS and Showtime will be done only under certain conditions, Ms. Tassler said. “It’s got to be beneficial for both companies.”

  • The network is looking for a host and contestants for its reality series “Gameshow Marathon,” in which celebrities compete in a series of classic game show formats, including “Beat the Clock” and “The Price Is Right.”

  • CBS has several writers working on potential story lines for its summer telenovela project, some of which may contain reality hybrid elements. CBS may air telenovela episodes twice a week.

  • While the reality music competition “Rock Star” will be back for a second installment with a yet-to-be-decided band, it is “unlikely” that “Amazing Race” will return to the family-of-four team model, Ms. Tassler said, noting that the show’s next installment will return to the traditional competition between two-person teams.


    It is “highly unlikely” that the Emmy-winning comedy “Arrested Development” will be back for another season on the network, Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori said, adding that he had no knowledge of discussions that may put the show on either ABC or Showtime.

    Mr. Liguori left the door open, however, for a return of the animated comedy series “Futurama,” especially after the network’s success with the resurrection of “Family Guy.”

  • Fox has added an executive to focus on developing late-night programming, but Mr. Liguori said he doesn’t expect to add new series to the time period anytime soon.

  • Fox has numerous scheduling changes planned.

    First-season drama “Bones” will move to Wednesdays at 8 p.m. (ET) starting March 8.

    “Prison Break” is back after the February sweeps, returning Mondays starting March 13 at 8 p.m.

    The network also will premiere two comedies in March. “Free Ride” debuts following “American Idol” on Wednesday, March 1, before moving to Sundays at 9:30 p.m., replacing “American Dad” until late April. “The Loop” premieres after “Idol” on Wednesday, March 15, and has its time period premiere Thursday, March 16, at 8:30 p.m., after “That ’70s Show.” “Stacked” will return to the time period later in the season.


    UPN has ordered the seventh and eighth installments of its reality series “America’s Next Top Model” for the 2006-07 season. The network is likely to bring back male-skewing Friday night professional wrestling, UPN President Dawn Ostroff said.

    The sixth installment of “Model” will debut Wednesday, March 8, at 8 p.m., a week after a special “Where the Girls Are” episode that will profile the series’ past winners.

  • The network will continue to run its low-rated midseason drama “South Beach,” Ms. Ostroff said, noting it has a “very challenging” time period on Wednesdays at 8 p.m.-up against “American Idol.”

  • Executive producer and co-creator Chris Rock is directing an episode of his single-camera rookie comedy “Everybody Hates Chris.” Executive producer Will Smith is directing an episode of his third-season comedy “All of Us.”

  • Michelle Williams of the former singing group Destiny’s Child is guest starring on the comedy “Half & Half” for a three-episode arc as an HIV-positive record executive. The story arc supports the Know HIV/AIDS Initiative, a joint venture between CBS Corp., Viacom and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    he WB

    The WB is still finalizing its deal with the Tribune Broadcasting stations to continue distributing the network, WB Chairman Garth Ancier said. The talks have been ongoing (TelevisionWeek, Jan. 16). “We expect to have that done in the next few weeks,” he said.

  • Despite its continuing popularity, “7th Heaven,” from Spelling Television, won’t be back next season due to spiraling costs. WB Entertainment President David Janollari called the show’s conclusion “bittersweet.”

  • The WB has given the go-ahead to a series that flips the format of “Beauty and The Geek.” In the new show, intelligent but socially awkward women will compete in teams with good-looking but intellectually challenged men. “Geek” producers Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg are about to go into production on the reality series “Fountain of Youth,” which pairs young adults with seniors and sends them on a cross-country trip from Florida to Las Vegas.

  • The network has also bought a half-four live-action pilot script from Ellen DeGeneres and her brother Vance DeGeneres called “My Dog Sparky,” which looks at family life from the point of view of the family dog. Ms. DeGeneres will voice the role of the dog.