|Post-sweeps, reruns have it
Repeats ruled the first night after sweeps. Last night, reruns of “Friends,” “CSI” and “ER” and a clip show of “Survivor: Africa” won their hours, while fresh episodes of “Inside Schwartz,” “Three Sisters” and “The Agency” fell by the wayside. CBS won the night in households, as “Survivor: Africa” won the 8:30 p.m. half-hour in households and adults 18-49, and “CSI” won the 9 p.m. hour in households and the 9:30 p.m. half-hour among adults 18-49. NBC won the night among adults 18-49, with “Friends” winning the 8 p.m. half-hour in households and adults 18-49, a repeat of “Will and Grace” winning the 9 p.m. half-hour among adults 18-49 and “ER” sweeping the 10 p.m. hour in households and the demographic. The preliminary Nielsen household rating and share and adult 18-49 rating for Thursday night were: CBS 10.1/16 and 5.8, NBC 9.9/16 and 7.1, ABC 7.3/11 and 3.5 and Fox 3.6/5 and 2.8. On Wednesday night, where serious dramas rule, some sitcoms are showing resiliency with adults 18-49. ABC’s “My Wife and Kids” and “According to Jim” won the 8 p.m. hour in the demographic, and Fox’s “Bernie Mac Show” placed a solid second among adults 18-49 at 9 p.m., behind only NBC’s “The West Wing.” All three sitcoms also placed second in households during their respective time periods, behind NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” at 8 p.m. and “The West Wing” at 9 p.m. NBC swept the night in households and won 9-11 p.m. among adults 18-49 with its lineup of the Christmas special, “The West Wing,” and “Law and Order.” The preliminary Nielsen household rating and share and adult 18-49 rating for Wednesday night were: NBC 12.5/20 and 6.3, ABC 7.3/12 and 4.5, CBS 6.5/10 and 3.5, and Fox 5.9/9 and 4.3.
Is there life after Regis for 'Millionaire'?
How's this for a million-dollar question: Who, if anyone, will be hosting "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" in primetime on ABC next fall? Until recently, the answer seemed obvious: Regis Philbin, who deserves at least some of the credit for the show's wild success early on. But now, with ABC executives blaming the show for the network's failure to innovate, it’s looking like "Millionaire" may not return to primetime at all, and if it does, it could very well be with a different, younger host. Philbin himself explored this scenario this week on "Live with Regis and Kelly," musing, "[T]hey'll bring it back with a comedian, a red-hot comedian, which is really what they want." "Millionaire's" executive producer has said he would like Philbin for the syndicated version of the show, which starts next fall, and ABC entertainment boss Lloyd Braun has said there is no way Philbin will be able to do both on top of his morning show duties. Among the names being tossed around for the primetime "Millionaire" job is Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."
Report: New Republic sale is imminent
The long-expected sale of The New Republic may finally be at hand. Owner and editor in chief Martin Peretz has reached a deal to unload two-thirds of the liberal think magazine to a group of investors who are also connected with the launch of a new conservative newspaper in New York, according to a report in the New York Daily News. Among those involved is Michael Steinhardt, a former hedge fund manager, member of the Democratic Leadership Council, and current vice chairman of The Forward, a Jewish weekly paper. Earlier this year, Peretz reportedly discussed selling The New Republic to Haim Saban, former co-owner of Fox Family Channel. Peretz, for his part, denies that the magazine is currently for sale.
Osama's in the running for Time's Man of the Year
You know the millennium has gotten off to a bad start when a guy like Osama bin Laden is up for Time magazine's Man of the Year. That's right: Time's editors have whittled down their choices to a handful, and the chief Evil One is a top contender, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee. Though the Person of the Year designation is often thought of as an honor, it is supposed to be a way to recognize the individual (or individuals, or even an abstract concept) who has had the most impact on current events in the past year. Adolf Hitler was named Man of the Year, and so was Ayatollah Khomeini. Joseph Stalin was Man of the Year twice. Even so, if Osama "wins," it will very likely spark a rash of subscription cancellations and even some advertiser pullouts. But Jim Kelly, Time’s managing editor, says he is more concerned that bin Laden’s followers would seize on the issue as something to rally around.
Brill is born again as a Newsweek columnist
Steven Brill, who spent the last few years doing mogul stuff, is returning to his humble roots as a columnist and reporter, signing on as a contributing editor for Newsweek. Brill will write a column entitled "Homefronts" concerning the legal and business troubles that have arisen out of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The column will run once or twice a month, according to Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker. While still chairman and CEO of Brill Media Holdings, Brill has suffered some setbacks in the past year, most notably the close of Brill's Content magazine and the deflation of many grand dreams with recent partner Primedia. Brill made a mark as a columnist for Esquire and New York magazines and as the author of the bestseller "The Teamsters" before going big-time in 1979 with the founding of American Lawyer magazine. He expanded American Lawyer into nine regional publications in the '80s and established Court TV in 1991. Brill's Content launched in 1998. He became the CEO of the Media Central magazine group shortly thereafter.
IBM cleans up its mess from San Fran's sidewalks
Six months after IBM promised to clean up the stenciled ads it slapped onto the sidewalks of San Francisco, the money has finally arrived. IBM Corp. will reimburse the city of San Francisco $100,000 for a bungled ad campaign for its Linux operating system that littered the city's sidewalks with what proved to be very stubborn images of a peace symbol, heart and penguin. The ads were supposed to be applied with biodegradable chalk so a simple rainfall would wipe them away. But city workers eventually needed to use soda blasters to erase the troublesome ads, which were the idea of Oglivy & Mather. Neither IBM nor Ogilvy & Mather knew how many or where the ads had been placed, or which subcontractor affixed them. Big Blue will also fund the cleanup for the last of the stencils, which could run up an additional tab of $20,000. IBM already paid Chicago $18,000 for its mess there.
November 30, 2001 © 2001 Media Life