Daily Marauder



America‘s Next Top Model Cycle 12 debuted with a two-hour episode on The CW Wednesday at 8p and delivered a second-place standing among the network’s target audience of W18-34 at 3.4/9 and tallied a 3.4/10 among females 12-34. The premiere episodes also ranked third among A18-34 with 2.1/6. (Cynopsis


Also on Wednesday at 9p, SCI FI Channel concluded the first season of Ghost Hunters International by scaring up 1.3 million A18-49, 1.4 million A25-54 and 2.2 million total viewers. Ghost Hunters International is a spinoff of Ghost Hunters set to debut season five March 11 at 9p. (Cynopsis 3/6)


NBC tagged long-time sportscaster Al Michaels to host the network’s live weekend and weekday daytime coverage of the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics. Michaels will helm 50+ hours from Vancouver and this appointment marks his first Olympic broadcasting post in 22 years. (Cynopsis 3/6)


The International Olympic Committee is delaying seeking bids for broadcast rights to future games for “some time,” according to NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol. “They are waiting for a healthier, brighter economic picture, particularly in the United States since they depend on it so much.” (Iwantmedia 3/6, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aqjnQTwUdbRc 3/5)

Heroes will be back next year, confirms NBC entertainment president Angela Bromstad, reports THR, disputing rampant reports and blog entries to the contrary. Bromstad said the action-drama series will get an 18-20 episode order for next season, just a couple of episodes short to the current third season order of 23 episodes. (Cynopsis 3/6)


Bravo has renewed “Shear Genius” for a third season and ordered a new docu-series called “Double Exposure.” In “Double Exposure,” fashion photographers Markus Klino and Indrani take celebrity photos for glossy spreads and album covers. TVWeek.com (3/5)


FOX is using American Idol as a launching pad for viewers to preview new series Glee as it follows the competition series on May 19 at 9p. The one-hour musical comedy series will make its official debut in the fall, though the date has not been scheduled. Glee, with a soundtrack of hit songs, follows an upbeat high school teacher, Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) charged with transforming the school’s glee club. (Cynopsis 3/6)


News broke on CNN’s The Situation Room yesterday as Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, declared he was withdrawing his name for consideration as Surgeon General in President Obama’s administration. Gupta told anchor Wolf Blitzer he “wants to spend more time with his family.” Gupta and his wife are expecting a third child soon. In addition to his CNN duties, busy Gupta is chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, he makes appearances on CBS News and pens a medical column for Time magazine. (Cynopsis 3/6)


HBO introduces viewers to The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency on March 29 at 8p. The seven-episode drama series is based on the novels by Alexander McCall Smith and features Jill Scott portraying heroine Precious Ramotswe, the wise owner of the only female-owned detective agency in Botswana. The series is a presentation of HBO Entertainment in association with The Weinstein Company and BBC. The late Anthony Minghella directed the two-hour pilot episode which aired on the BBC last year and is the inaugural episode for the HBO series. Additionally, the late Sydney Pollack served as executive producer for the pilot along with Richard Curtis, Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein. (Cynopsis 3/6)


Disney plans to package 21-year-old actor Kelly Blatz in a marketing juggernaut across the media giant’s many platforms, from television and film to music and merchandise. Blatz, the star of the new Disney XD series “Aaron Stone,” could be the next Jonas Brothers. (Iwantmedia 3/6, http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/06/tween-stars-next-business-media-jonas.html 3/6)

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!  Can’t we let this Jonas Brothers madness just die already?  Thanks Disney.  Way to start my weekend off on a sour note.Kelly Blatzblatz

Comedy Central together with Paramount Vantage picked up the rights to the humorous book Ghosts/Aliens by Trey Hamburger, with intentions to develop it into a pilot and a feature film script. (Cynopsis 3/6)


ESPN Films, the feature-films unit of the cable sports channel, is celebrating its first year in the movie business. To mark the occasion, ESPN Films announced two new biopics to go along with its current project about the life and times of trailblazing baseball player Jackie Robinson. Variety (3/5)

A&E has given the go-ahead for a 13-episode “Inked” spinoff called “Tattoo Highway.” Like the original, “Highway,” which is scheduled for a spring launch, will follow tattoo artist Thomas Pendelton as he and his wife make their way across the western U.S., forever changing arms and other body parts along the way. The Hollywood Reporter (3/5)

CBS may face an $893 million funding gap for bonds maturing next year, even after slashing its dividend by 81% to save cash, according to Barclays Capital analyst Scott Shiffman. CBS may have to sell new debt to help pay off $1.4 billion of bonds due in 2010, he says. (Iwantmedia 3/6, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aZ7MGVq4r0tQ 3/5)

Cameron Death, the executive in charge of NBC Universal’s digital studio, said he was ready, willing and able to work advertisers’ messages into the broadcast and cable content that his company produces for online audiences. “There’s a challenge and an opportunity within the next two years, where the brand can become the content,” he said during a panel discussion sponsored by the American Association of Advertising Agencies. MediaPost Communications/MediaDailyNews (3/5)

According to the latest figures from Nielsen, just 3.9% of U.S. households are totally unprepared for the digital-TV transition and would not receive any programming after the June 12 switchover date. That’s an improvement from about a month ago, when 5.1% were deemed unprepared. Television Business Report (3/5) , TVWeek.com (3/5)

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July 28, 2008, 8:10 AM
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The NFL and NBC Sports will announce a deal today to stream 17 regular season (mostly Sunday night) match-ups live on NBC.com beginning with the season opener on Sept. 4, reports The WSJ. The move, brought by the league to NBC, is being described as an experiment to lure new viewers and engage current fans with interactive elements including multiple live camera angles and up-the-minute fantasy stats. The NFL, careful to protect broadcast contracts that will earn more than $3.7 billion this year, has been the last of the major U.S. sporting leagues to embrace the web as a distribution medium. (Cynopsis 7/28)

Tell Me You Love Me from HBO Entertainment and Pariah will not return to HBO for a second after Cynthia Mort, the show’s creator/executive producer said the show is having problems finding its direction. The first season of ten episodes ran last fall and HBO quickly picked up a second season after the fourth episode aired in October. (Cynopsis 7/28)

A new scripted drama series is coming to ShowtimeStudio, produced by MRC, is a fictional drama set in the 1970s at the infamous Studio 54 nightclub in NYC. The only character in the show based on a real person will be that of the club’s founder, Steve Rubell.  According to THR, the show begins in the months leading up to the club’s opening in April 1977. (Cynopsis 7/28)

In its first sign of solidarity in months SAG members voted unanimously to reject the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers‘ latest new media proposal on Saturday, presented to the actors guild as a “final offer” earlier in the month. The AMPTP issued a statement in response saying the refusal means actors will continue to have to work indefinitely under the previous contract – expired as of June 30 – which includes no residuals for ad-supported streaming, made-for-new media programs or reuse of clips online. (Cynopsis 7/28)

A restructuring by General Electric left the global conglomerate with four distinct business segments, but the corporate construction of NBC Universal was left unchanged. NBCU, which owns several top cable networks, has been the subject of growing speculation that GE would try to sell the company soon after the Summer Olympics. (ClipSyndicate/Bloomberg 7/25, Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg 7/26, Broadcasting & Cable 7/26)

The 15 largest ad-supported cable networks are having “a normal, solid cable summer,” said Mediavest’s John Spiropoulos, “and the premieres of many of their major scripted series have exceeded last year’s numbers.” USA Network’s “Monk,” for instance, recently premiered with 16% more viewers than last summer, and TNT’s “The Closer” debuted with 500,000 more people watching. (Mediaweek 7/28)

The Comcast Media Center has announced the addition of 14 high-definition channels from eight programming groups to the company’s HITS service. The new channels include History, Animal Planet, ABC Family, Lifetime Movie and USA. (Multichannel News 7/27)

According to an offer from Comcast, newcomers to the company’s “Triple Play” of digital cable, VOIP service, and high-speed internet will also be able to bag an honest-to-goodness Nintendo Wii on their way out the door. Sure, you’ve got to sign a two-year contract (à la mobile telco policy), but you’ll also walk away with a console that still can’t be found on a lot of store shelves. (http://www.engadget.com/2008/07/28/comcast-offering-a-free-wii-to-new-triple-play-subscribers 7/28)

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MediaFLO‘s FLO TV service will provide 30+ hours of US Open video coverage from Torrey Pines this week sourced from ESPN and NBC Sports. The service is available to AT&T Mobile TV and Verizon Wireless V Cast customers. (Cynopsis 6/9)

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Research in Motion reportedly will bring a touch-screen BlackBerry to market later this year, a response to the iPhone. Calling it the Thunder, RIM is expected to sell the multimedia handset through exclusive deals with Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and Vodafone in Europe. RIM declined to provide comment on the report. (The Wall Street Journal 5/16)

NBC Sports beefed up its mobile content offerings available via video service NBC 2Go. Provided through FLO TV and MobiTV, NBC 2Go will feature live simulcast coverage of The Preakness on Saturday, The Senior PGA Championship on May 24, The French open from May 31 and The U.S. Open from June 12-15. The service will also pick up NHL playoff coverage, the AST Action Sports Dew Tour and every home Notre Dame football game. (Cynopsis 5/16)


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