News Briefs: Syndie Sales of ‘Intent’ Nearly Complete

Nov 13, 2006  •  Post A Comment

NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution is close to wrapping up sales of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” for a broadcast syndication run starting in fall 2007. The distributor said last week that it has added stations from Sinclair, Hearst and Belo to the lineup of outlets that will carry the series on a Monday-through-Friday basis. Fox-owned and -operated stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other markets already have agreed to carry the Dick Wolf series as a syndicated strip next year (TelevisionWeek, Oct. 30). It is unusual for an hour-long show to air Monday through Friday on broadcast stations in syndication. The syndication runs of dramas in recent years primarily have been sold to cable networks, which strip them. -Melissa Grego

NBC Orders Full Season of `Studio 60′

NBC is delivering on its promise to stand by lackluster performer “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” making a full-season pickup order for the Aaron Sorkin drama. The network has ordered an additional nine episodes of the series, which has been struggling in its 10 p.m. (ET) Monday time slot. “Studio 60” is averaging a 4.0 rating in adults 18 to 49 and 9.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said, “From the start, they have delivered the superb show that we wanted. The critical support has been rock-solid and there is a passionate core audience. We can’t wait for what’s going to come in the remainder of the season.” Mr. Reilly has said he supports “Studio 60” despite its low viewership because the show fits NBC’s brand and attracts affluent, educated viewers. -James Hibberd

Most Shows Watched Within 3 Days on DVRs

The vast bulk of television shows being watched on digital video recorders are played back within three days of being aired, according to Nielsen Media Research. The analysis, released Thursday by Nielsen, is based on data that was released to clients earlier this month and doesn’t count viewers who watched shows more than seven days after they aired. In households with DVRs, 78 percent of viewers who watch recorded broadcast prime-time shows play them back within two days, and 84 percent play them back within three days. Among viewers 18 to 49, 67 percent of them play back broadcast network prime-time programs within two days. For ad-supported cable networks, 84 percent of DVR viewers play back shows within two days of when they aired. For syndicated shows, 85 percent watch the programs within two days. After three days, 84 percent of DVR viewers had watched the broadcast shows. The three-day number hit 90 percent for cable and 91 percent for syndication. -Jon Lafeyette

NBC Stations to Launch `iVillage Live’ Dec. 4

NBC Universal will try to help its station group’s struggling daytime lineups by launching the previously announced “iVillage Live” show Dec. 4. The hour-long, live interactive show will play simultaneously on the NBC stations, the company’s Bravo cable network and on iVillageLive.com. The show will originate from a studio at Universal Orlando Resort live at noon (ET) and 11 a.m. (CT), and will be rebroadcast with a live Internet chat on the West Coast. “iVillage Live” is expected to replace interim or repeat programming on most of the stations’ lineups. The show will be hosted by a lineup of TV personalities and performers including Molly Pesce, a former Miss Florida with Broadway and cable TV experience; former Cleveland news anchor Sissy Schaefer; and Guy Yovan, who has home shopping TV experience. David Shenfeld will executive produce “iVillage Live.” -Michele Greppi

NBCU News Layoffs Begin at `Dateline’

Layoffs at NBC News, dictated by the plan to cut 700 jobs at NBC Universal, began Thursday with “Dateline NBC.” Sources familiar with the involuntary separation process expect approximately 15 layoffs nationwide on “Dateline” by the time the axe stops swinging at the magazine show. The axe will fall at “Today” and “NBC Nightly News” this week, with the unpleasant duties done by midweek. The “Dateline” layoffs reportedly included correspondents Robb Stafford and Edie Magnus and a number of producers and talent bookers. Sources said writers had been urged to consider early retirement because there was no longer much need for them. A spokesperson for NBC News declined to comment.

-Michele Greppi