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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

FOX is working on a 30m comedy based on the popular National Geographic Channel series Dog Whisperer with Wilmer Valderramai n the title role, cites Variety. Full details on the project are not clear, though the character played by Valderrama will be inspired by Cesar Millan about a professional dog trainer who has built a wealthy business. (Cynopsis 10/20)

Wilmer

FOX also approved a comedy spec called Rehabfrom Sam Laybourne, a writer/producer on ABC‘s Cougar Town, per THR. The project will be produced by Peter Chernin with Will Gluck, who may direct. Rehab is about a man who pretends he needs rehab to connect with a former high school sweetheart who is now a rock star. (Cynopsis10/20)

Samuel L. Jackson and his company UppiTVhave two new projects on the docket for CBS produced by CBS TV Studios, cites THR. The first project is a multi-camera comedy from Bob Kushell about the wife of a US Congressman who inherits her husband’s seat after he dies suddenly. The second project is a medical drama penned by Andrea Newman about an emergency room doctor who uses unusual treatments on his patients. (Cynopsis 10/20)

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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

The second season of “Dogtown: Saving the Michael Vick Dogs” premiered last Friday night on the National Geographic Channel, attracting 3.1 million viewers and earning a 1.05 household rating. It was the network’s highest-rated second-season premiere and its top Friday-night opener. Multichannel News (9/8)

HBO’s comedy series Flight of the Conchords started production for season two in New York on ten new episodes. The series follows the musical/comedy pair Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie from New Zealand who now live and perform in New York City. The new episodes are scheduled to debut in early 2009. (Cynopsis 9/9)

Over two nights in December, HBO will present a four-hour biopic on the rise and fall of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The movie, which was co-produced with the BBC and aired in the U.K. last summer, begins with Saddam’s taking power in a 1979 coup and ends with his capture in Tikrit by coalition forces. Broadcasting & Cable (9/8)

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin should focus on the country’s transition to all-digital TV signals and not get sidetracked with trying to force a la carte programming on the cable industry, according to a letter to the FCC chief from Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and co-signed by Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. “Pursuing contentious policy initiatives, such as the unbundling of wholesale subscription television channels, would divert attention of the bureau at this critical time,” Inouye said. Multichannel News (9/8)

Subscribers of AT&T’s U-verse video service will be able to use the providers’ DVR service with as many as eight TVs under a new policy designed to compete with rivals. AT&T, which already offers multiroom, or whole-house, service in the San Francisco area, said it would expand that policy to the rest of the country by year-end. The Wall Street Journal (free content) (9/9)

Mediacom Communications, the eighth-largest cable TV firm, announced plans to buy back 30% of its Class A common stock from Shivers Investments in a deal that is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The move gives Shivers $110 million in cash and full control of a newly formed Mediacom subsidiary with 25,000 basic-cable subscribers. CNNMoney.com/Associated Press (9/8) , CED Magazine (9/2008)

More than 635 million homes — half the world’s households — will watch digital TV by 2013, according to a new report from Informa Telecoms, and almost half of them — 290 million — will get it via cable TV. The study goes on to say that the worldwide total will reach 343 million by the end of this year, an increase of 67 million over 2007. The Hollywood Reporter (9/8)

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GAMING by Marauder

GAMING

National Geographic Channel joined the booming casual games arena launching a branded gaming channel powered by Real Networks. Games like Habitat Rescue, developed by New York-based Rebel Monkey, are designed to dovetail with NGC programming genres including Animals & Nature, Science & Technology and History & Events. (Cynopsis 7/29)

Consumer-electronics manufacturer Nintendo has filed suit against five Japanese companies, alleging that they imported and sold games that can illegally be played on Nintendo’s DS gaming console. The company said it filed its suit, along with more than 50 other Japanese software makers, in Tokyo District Court today. The Washington Post/Reuters (7/29)

Lifetime Games announced a new strategic partnership with Vivity Labs’ FitBrains.com to expand the online game offerings of myLifetime.com. Brain fitness games testing memory, concentration, language, logic, reasoning and visual-spatial skills are its specialty. (Cynopsis 7/29)

Nickelodeon is after more serious gamers with Avatar: Legends of the Arena, an upcoming global online multiplayer game that will serve as a prequel to the animated Avatar: The Last Airbender show. The 3D online arena game will take place simultaneously in 81 markets and 10 languages. In time-tested MTVN cross-promotion tradition, Nickelodeon will offer fans hints to the game if they tune into episodes of the show on Friday nights in Sep. and Oct. (Cynopsis 7/29)

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