Daily Marauder

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Film flops threaten to leave Disney in last place at the box office among its Hollywood peers for the second-straight year, as movies featuring television stars Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers disappoint. Also: Indie filmmakers fear Disney will dump its Miramax Films unit. (Iwantmedia 5/18, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aXbZJx0NdNz4 5/18)

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The Disney Channel has ordered six additional third-season episodes of its blockbuster “Hannah Montana” series. The show, starring Miley Cyrus, is Disney’s No. 1 show in the 6-to-11 and 9-to-14 demographics. Variety (12/2)


CBS gave frosh thriller Eleventh Hour from Jerry Bruckheimer and Warner Bros. Television an extension of five more episodes, making it a somewhat smaller full season order. So far this season the drama has averaged a 3.3/9 among A18-49 and 12 million total viewers. (Cynopsis 12/3)


Oxygen struts out with the most current season of America‘s Next Top Model beginning January 18 at 11a, airing back-to-back episodes for thirteen hours. Last September, Oxygen acquired the exclusive cable rights to all seasons of America’s Next Top Model including the 12th season now in production as well as repeat airings going beyond cycle 12. (Cynopsis 12/3)


American TV viewers will see more of Little Britain USA as a second series is slated for production from HBO and the BBC. PPC Enterprises, the commercial unit of Picture Production Company Group, holds the rights to the Little Britain USA brand as well as the rights to Little Britain Classics. (Cynopsis 12/3)


ABC is retooling its midseason schedule adding in new series Castle, Cupid and The Unusuals in the 10p slot on various weeknights. (Cynopsis 12/3)

The CW announced plans to bring back Reaper for a 13-episode second season following 90210 Tuesday nights beginning March 17, reports THR and The Live Feed. (Cynopsis 12/3)


Facing a deadline on Friday, Vivendi apparently has decided not to sell its 20% stake in NBC Universal, the corporate umbrella for the NBC broadcast network as well as a number of cable TV channels, according to unnamed sources in this article. One of these sources, however, said Vivendi might consider such a move in the future: “It is not the right time to sell,” the source said. The Hollywood Reporter (12/2)

Music Choice‘s first-ever Video on Demand music awards program in now available and Chris Brown made the grade as the Most Demanded Artist of the Year, registering over 43 million requests. Lil’ Wayne Featuring Static Major’s “Lollipop” was the most demanded music video of the year, edging out Jonas Brothers’ “Burnin’ Up.” (Cynopsis 12/4)

Barring a few ongoing political races, the election season ad spending has been tallied and according to TNS Media Intelligence the grand total spent was $2.5 billion and $2.7 billion, as reported by B&C. Television took the largest piece of the pie at $2.2 billion with broadcast television at $2 billion with national cable and national networks at $200 million; print, radio, online and local cable round out the remaining $200-$400 million. (Cynopsis 12/3)

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With an audience-retention rate of nearly 100% since its premiere Oct. 20, freshman comedy “Rita Rocks” already has proved to be a buzz-worthy hit on Lifetime’s Tuesday-night schedule. The network has rewarded that performance by ordering seven more episodes, which brings the show’s first-season episode total to 20. TVWeek.com (11/10)


Barack Obama’s two daughters have been invited to appear on the Disney Channel kids show “Hannah Montana,” said actor Billy Ray Cyrus, the father of “Hannah” star Miley Cyrus. The show has asked Malia, 10, and Sasha Obama, 7, to take part in an episode around April. (Iwantmedia 11/11, http://www.accesshollywood.com/malia-and-sasha-obama-to-visit-hannah-montana_article_12106 11/11)


Discovery Channel showcases new episodes of Man vs. Wild beginning late January with adventurer Bear Grylls at the helm. Eight new hi-def episodes will follow Bear to challenging locations such as Transylvania, Turkey, Belize, the Yukon Peninsula, Dominican Republic and the Bandlands of Oregon. These new episodes, produced by Diverse Productions, continues season three which began last August. (Cynopsis 11/11)


History unveiled its new series Shadow Force last Friday at 10p, delivering 585,000 A18-49 viewers, 616,000 A25-54 viewers and 1.1 million total viewers. (Cynopsis 11/11)

There have been layoffs at Current Media, the cable network co-founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.  A source close to Current told CNET News on Tuesday that 20 percent of the staff has been cut, and that some of the layoffs will take place now and others in January. Current had announced less than a day ago that it had partnered with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to bring its network to Canada. (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10094101-36.html?tag=rtcol;relnews 11/11)

The notion that General Electric would like to sell NBC Universal has circulated for years. But the credit crisis has suddenly changed prospects of selling the unit. Analysts now don’t see the point in dumping NBC at a time when other GE businesses are struggling. (Iwantmedia 11/11, http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSTRE4A92OC20081110 11/10)

The MLB Network secured carriage on Verizon’s FiOS TV service as part of a multi-year agreement. Verizon will add MLB to its Essentials and Extreme HD package when it debuts on Jan. 1 2009. Verizon will also offer the MLB Extra Innings package of out-of-market games to its subscribers. (Cynopsis 11/11)

The MGM HD channel has secured carriage through AT&T’s U-verse IPTV system. U-verse TV customers can receive MGM HD as part of the service’s HD Premium package, a new tier which can be added to an HD service subscription for an additional $5/month. (Cynopsis 11/11)

The FCC said it would seek additional information on the so-called “quiet period” being suggested around retransmission-consent agreements leading up to and following the country’s transition to all-digital TV signals. Cable companies have asked the commission to impose a quiet period that would start at the end of the year so that negotiations would not add to the confusion of the DTV switchover. Broadcasting & Cable (11/10)

Insight Communications turned in a stellar third-quarter performance, adding 9,300 basic-cable subscribers, 14,400 digital-cable customers, 20,500 high-speed data homes and 19,200 telephony subscribers. That solid growth in revenue-generating units helped the company earn $220 million in revenue during the quarter, a 17% improvement over the same period a year earlier. OneTRAK (11/10) , CED Magazine (11/2008)

Dish Network reported another bad quarter losing about 10,000 subscribers to end the quarter with 13.78 million overall subs. The company’s Q3 net income was $92 million – down 54% from Q3 2007. Like its competitor DirecTV, Dish warned it is likely to suffer from the loss of AT&T as distribution partner net year. AT&T subs accounted for around 17% of its gross subscriber additions so far in 2008. (Cynopsis 11/11)

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The third-season premiere of “Hannah Montana” on Sunday pulled in 5.5 million viewers, about 2 million more than the number of people who tuned in for the beginning of the show’s second season and its highest viewership draw in more than a year. According to Nielsen Media Research, the show, starring Miley Cyrus, attracted 2.6 million 6- to 11-year-olds and 2.4 million 9- to 14-year-olds. Multichannel News (11/4)


RCN’s “Project Analog Crush” — the all-digital service the company has been rolling out in its systems around the country — helped the cable provider add 3,000 new video customers and 31,000 revenue-generating units in the third quarter. Overall, RCN posted revenue of $187 million during the period, a 20% year-over-year increase. CED Magazine (11/2008) , OneTRAK (11/4)

Lawyers representing NBC Universal and Bravo have asked a U.S. District Court judge to send the “Project Runway” lawsuit back to the New York State Supreme Court, where it was originally filed. NBCU filed the suit against The Weinstein Co. for moving the show from Bravo to Lifetime Television without giving NBCU right of first refusal. Multichannel News (11/4)

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April 10, 2008, 5:42 PM
Filed under: BROADCAST/CABLE | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Katie Couric may leave her post as CBS Evening News anchor before her contract is up in 2011, per a report in the Wall Street Journal. The report indicated she might depart as early as January 2009, following the presidential inauguration. Katie has been anchor with CBS News since 2006 and despite the media flurry over her leaving NBC‘s Today to be solo anchor at CBS, the CBS Evening News continues to rank third with total viewers and among the news sweet spot demo of A25-54. (Cynopsis 4/10, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120778369100203247.html 4/10)

“Hannah Montana,” the Disney show that has spawned a 3-D movie, a sellout concert tour and a clothing line, has been renewed for a third season. The series starring Miley Cyrus is the highest-rated show on television among viewers ages 6-14. (Yahoo!/E! Online 4/9)

Singer/songwriter Jewel was added to NBC’s Nashville Star as a mentor and judge to the contestants along with country music star John Rich. The competition series debuts on NBC June 9 at 930p. (Cynopsis 4/10)

After airing ego trip’s The (White) Rapper Show last year, VH1 will now explore the future of female rap artists as ego trip’s Miss Rap Supreme eight-episode competition series debuts next Monday at 10p. Ten female MCs will be tested with various challenges such as stage presence, creativity and mental astuteness with one swaggering over the others to win $100,000 and the title of Miss Rap Supreme. Returning as host for this new version produced by 10X10 Productions is Michael “MC Serch” Berrin and joining him is female rap artist Yolanda “Yo-Yo” Whitaker. (Cynopsis 4/10)

Despite political pressure from lawmakers arguing that forcing a la carte programming on cable companies would raise rates and lower channel options, FCC chairman Kevin Martin told members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government that he would not change his mind on the topic. “Absolutely, I am still enthusiastic about it,” Martin said Wednesday. “I absolutely think it’s the right thing.” (Multichannel News 4/9)

Hackers hired by News Corp. unit NDS Group stole and posted data that allowed free access to Dish Network’s satellite television service, the company says, in a corporate spying trial against its rival that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. NDS denies the spying charge. (Iwantmedia 4/10, http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssTechMediaTelecomNews/idUSN0947553720080410 4/9)

Verizon is suing Time Warner Cable for false advertising, alleging that the country’s second-largest cable firm makes a number of inaccurate claims about the telecom’s FiOS TV service in its ads. But Time Warner Cable spokesman Alex Dudley said the federal lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York, was “without merit,” adding that “we look forward to defending against it in the appropriate venue.” (InformationWeek/Reuters 4/9)

Following in Cablevision’s footsteps, Time Warner Cable has started offering caller ID on TV for 50,000 customers in the New York area. The service has been a big hit for Cablevision, which recently announced it delivered more than 1 billion caller ID on TV messages since debuting the service systemwide in November. (New York Post 4/10)

Cablevision is said to be uninterested in buying Newsday from Tribune, contrary to press reports. Separately, New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman has made a bid for the Long Island daily. Newsday also is in talks with Rupert Murdoch for a sale or a joint venture. (Iwantmedia 4/10, http://www.reuters.com/article/industryNews/idUSN0940597520080409 4/9)


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