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BROADCAST/CABLE

With the star power of Ellen DeGeneres, Kobe Bryant and Carlos Santana, George Lopez pulled in 3.2 million viewers with the premiere of his talk show. The debut of “Lopez Tonight” was presented across Turner nets TBS, TNT and truTV, with TBS accounting for 1.7 million viewers. The Hollywood Reporter(11/10)

George Lopez

NBC Universal Chief Executive Officer Jeff Zucker will lead the joint venture currently being negotiated that would control the media conglomerate, according to unnamed sources cited in this report. Comcast is in talks with current NBCU owner General Electric about taking a majority stake in the company. Reuters (11/10

It may not be long before the troubled MGM studio is forced by its creditors to seek a buyer. That’s the word coming out of a Nov. 4 meeting between MGM CEO Stephen Cooper and the debt-hobbled film company’s 140-member creditor committee. According to one source with knowledge of the meeting, the creditor group turned thumbs down on a proposal by Cooper to convert the studio’s $3.7 billion debt into equity as part of a restructuring plan to keep the studio out of bankruptcy. (BusinessWeek11/11)

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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

The season premiere Tuesday of “Deadliest Catch,” Discovery’s salty series about professional fish haulers, was the network’s best ever. Back-to-back episodes at 9 and 10 p.m. pulled in 3.39 million and 3.53 million viewers, respectively, according to the company. (Multichannel News 4/16)

On Bravo Tuesday night, the network aired the first season finale of The Real Housewives of New York City (10p) which attracted 1.06 million A18-49 and 1.43 million total viewers. The network just announced the series was picked up for a second season. Also this night, the third season debut of Work Out (11p) tallied 593,000 A18-49 and 764,000 total viewers. (Cynopsis 4/17)

With General Electric’s stock plunging to its lowest level in four years, once-isolated calls for at least a partial breakup of the conglomerate have become a chorus, with NBC Universal emerging as a prime candidate for a sale or spinoff. A breakup of GE “is looking more viable.” (Iwantmedia 4/17, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/17/business/17electric.html?_r=1&oref=slogin 4/17)

HBO was the big winner Wednesday at the National Association for Ethnicity in Communications’ Vision Awards event, bringing home two prizes for its “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” movie and a third for the “D.L. Hughley: Unapologetic” special. CNN and Disney each won two Vision awards at the Beverly Hills ceremony. (Multichannel News 4/16)

HBO’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Marissa Jaret Winokur has been signed by Sony TV for a daytime TV syndication deal, possibly for Fall 2009, per Variety.  Also coming for fall 2009 – daytime talker with Marie Osmond from Program Partners. (Cynopsis 4/17)

ABC Studios made a two-year pact with author Jennifer Weiner to create and executive produce series projects for the studio. Jennifer’s novel In Her Shoes was developed into a 2005 feature film starring Cameron Diaz. She currently has a novel Little Earthquakes in development at Universal and a short story The Guy Not Taken in development at DreamWorks. (Cynopsis 4/17)

Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network are now available in high definition. The company said its research showed that nearly half of women 18 to 54 would add one or both of the channels to their HD package if it were available. (Broadcasting & Cable 4/16)

Midwestern cable provider Insight added 45,700 basic customers in 2007 along with 143,400 broadband subscribers and 134,500 phone customers, the last of which was a big achievement considering that Insight added just 33,500 phone customers in 2006. Overall, the company’s 2007 revenue rose 14%, to $1.4 billion, and operating income was up 17%, to $572 million. (CED Magazine 4/16)

Dish has announced that it has added three HD markets: Baltimore; Columbia, S.C.; and Green Bay, Wis. The company now offers HD in 46 markets, it said. (OneTRAK 4/16)




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