'Boot Camp' tracks cleat marks over 'Joan'
Fox's special Tuesday episode of "Boot Camp" proved too strong a competitor for ABC's successful midseason show, "What About Joan." Although "Boot's" 6.1 adult 18-49 rating was down considerably from its premiere and not close to Fox's last reality show, "Temptation Island," it beat "Joan" at 9:30 p.m. by 33 percent and helped Fox tie ABC for No. 1 for the night. "Joan's" 4.8 rating, however, was more proof that the new show, starring Joan Cusack, is shaping up to be one of ABC's first hits in the past year. The sitcom retained 100 percent of lead-in "Dharma & Greg's" 18-49 rating, despite a big jump in "Boot's" second half-hour. Fox's reality show's rating went up by 10 percent in its second half, which is pretty common for unscripted shows. NBC and its midseason show, "Three Sisters," suffered. It came in a distant third place at 9:30 p.m. and lost nearly 10 percent of "Frasier's" lead-in rating. NBC, in fact, was in third or fourth place in the 18-49 demo for the entire night. ABC and Fox ended up winning with a 5.3 to CBS's 3.4 and NBC's 3.3. ABC won in households, largely due to "Millionaire," with a 10.3 rating and 17 share, based on preliminary Nielsen data. CBS had a 9.0/15, Fox had a 6.6/11, and NBC had a 6.2/10.


Industry Standard shutters European edition
The Industry Standard’s troubles aren’t confined to the New World. Parent company Standard Media International yesterday said that it is suspending publication of the internet business newsweekly’s European edition. Editorial staff for the London-based publication, which was launched last year, will now contribute to the U.S. edition and its web site. The move apparently comes after Standard Media failed in its search for a partner to help underwrite the European edition, and follows a precipitous decline in ad dollars for the Industry Standard and other business-technology magazines. After setting records for ad pages last year, the Industry Standard is off 65 percent in ad pages year-to-date versus first quarter 2000. Ad revenue at the magazine is down 38.8 percent to $18 million, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

Supreme Court is setting for new dramas
A rash of high-profile cases—gay Boy Scout leaders, prayer in school and, of course, Bush v. Gore—has resulted in the creation of a new television subgenre: The Supreme Courtroom drama. Two new shows that take as their setting the highest court in the land will debut this fall. Both will face the same necessity: translating the often-dull workings of the judicial branch into dramatic gold. ABC’s "The Court," produced by Touchstone Television and starring Sally Field as a liberal justice, is centered around the professional and personal lives of young law clerks working in the Supreme Court. Producer Rob Scheidlinger has said he discussed his plans for the show with current chief justice William H. Rehnquist more than a year ago. Rehnquist was reportedly concerned that the show would portray the real justices barely disguised as fictional characters. Scheidlinger assured him that would not be the case. "First Monday" on CBS stars James Garner as an aging chief justice. The show is reportedly modeled in part on NBC’s "West Wing," as it will try to feature realistic settings and plots that mirror real events. But neither show will feature footage from inside the Supreme Court building itself, as commercial filming inside the building is prohibited.

Word has it, Time Inc. ogling Biz 2.0 on the cheap
The long-awaited onset of consolidation among business-technology magazines appears to be at hand. Time Inc. is in negotiations with Future Networks PLC to buy Business 2.0, one of a number of next-generation business titles that racked up obscenely large ad page counts last year before falling on hard times in the wake of the dot.com crash. If a deal can be reached, Time Inc. is expected to fold Business 2.0 into eCompany Now, its year-old tech-oriented Fortune offshoot, according to reports of the talks. With both titles claiming circulation of around 350,000, the resulting merged magazine would be one of the biggest biz-tech players out there. Estimates for Business 2.0’s price tag range from $30 million to $70 million, well short of the more than $350 million Gruner & Jahr paid for Fast Company, and short too of the $100 million Time Inc. reportedly offered Future Networks for Business 2.0 as recently as last fall.

NY Times Moscow chief gets a nasty faceful
Reporters and editors for The New York Times let out a collective "Eww!" yesterday after learning that one of their own had been the victim of a prank, the details of which were decidedly not fit for a family newspaper. Moscow-based alternative magazine The eXile this week awarded the title of "Worse Journalist in Russia" to Michael Wines, chief of the Times's Moscow bureau. His prize: a cream pie in the face. What he didn't know at the time was that it was a double whammy: The pie was filled with horse semen--or so The eXile claimed in a story about the attack, titled "Hack Eats Horse-Sperm Surprise," complete with a photo of a pie-covered Wines. Times spokesperson Katherine Mathis confirmed to Media Life that Wines was hit by a pie, but she could not verify that the pie contained horse semen. The American expatriates who publish The eXile say they settled on Wines for, among other faults, his fawning coverage of current president Vladimir Putin. 

April 11, 2001 © 2001 Media Life



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