News Briefs: DirecTV Offers Sunday Ticket Interactive Features

Aug 14, 2006  •  Post A Comment

DirecTV is adding new interactive features that will alert NFL Sunday Ticket viewers when their favorite players make big plays. Player Tracker allows viewers to select up to nine players in Sunday Ticket games. When one of the players scores a touchdown or makes a first down, an alert appears onscreen. David Feldstein, senior project manager of DirecTV interactive services, said the feature creates a single-screen experience from what previously was available only by watching a TV and a laptop simultaneously. DirecTV is also adding more categories to its statistics-on-demand features and has created a “Today’s Best” grouping showing the top performers in all of those categories. The interactive service is free. The logos of two major Sunday Ticket sponsors, Dodge and Best Buy, will appear on the interactive applications.


NBC, Fox, MySpace Partner for ‘Earl’ Promotion

NBC and 20th Century Fox Television will partner with online social networking Web site MySpace.com to offer users an opportunity to have their photo featured in the end credits of “My Name Is Earl” during one of the first three episodes of the 2006-07 season. At the end of each episode, the series’ production credits normally conclude with the logo for Amigos de Garcia-executive producer Greg Garcia’s production company shingler. Winners will have a chance to be featured as one of the “amigos.” The first winner will appear in the season premiere of “Earl” on Sept. 21, with two other winners appearing in the credits of the two subsequent episodes.


Bresnan Named Top Reality Exec for The CW

Former reality series producer Jennifer Bresnan has been named senior VP of alternative programming for The CW, making her the top reality series executive for the new broadcast network. Ms. Bresnan will supervise the ongoing production of The CW’s current reality franchises, including “America’s Next Top Model,” “Beauty and the Geek” and the midseason series “The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll,” as well as the development of all future alternative and reality series for The CW. Ms. Bresnan served as producer on the first season of Fox’s “American Idol,” as supervising producer on Mark Burnett’s “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” on NBC and as co-executive producer on Fox’s “The Swan.”


‘Wheel,’ ‘Jeopardy!’ Get HD Makeover

Syndication stalwarts “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” will be distributed in high definition starting Sept. 11. King World Productions and Sony Pictures Television are spending more than $4 million to upgrade the shows, which have been shooting in HD for weeks in preparation for their new seasons. Standard-definition broadcasts will continue to air in a full-screen format. The sets of the two shows have been redesigned to accommodate the change. The sets are now wider, with more detailed backgrounds and more HD-vibrant color palettes. The familiar “Jeopardy!” board of square monitors has been replaced with a seamless projection video wall.


‘Ellen’ to Run on 10 NBC Stations Through 2010

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s syndicated talk strip “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has been renewed on 10 NBC Universal stations through the 2009-10 season. NBC Universal stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington, Miami, San Diego and Hartford, Conn., will carry “Ellen” into 2010. \


Levinson Joining CBS News as Political Director

Molly Levinson is leaving CNN to take the newly retitled position of CBS News political director, effective Aug. 22. She will report to Paul Friedman, the CBS News VP who oversees hard news coverage. Ms. Levinson has spent several years at CNN, serving most recently as acting political director. Before CNN, she worked for GQR Research as an analyst of opinion research and as a development assistant at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.