Syndie Insider

New Execs at Telepictures

Lisa Hackner has rejoined Telepictures Productions, a division of Warner Bros. Domestic Television, as senior vice president of development. She was executive vice president of Universal Domestic Television for two years, until being let go after NBC completed its recent acquisition of Universal. Coming with Hackner is Sheila Rosenbaum, who will be vice president of programming. She had been vice president of development at Universal. While at Universal, Hackner and Rosenbaum developed Home Delivery, launching this fall on Tribune TV stations.

Brief Reprieve

NBC Universal has decided not to ask a Los Angeles court to prevent former Access Hollywood
anchor Pat O'Brien from promoting his new show, Paramount's The Insider. NBC Universal had scheduled a July 23 hearing to request a preliminary injunction, claiming that O'Brien violated the terms of his contract. With Paramount attorneys saying they have no plans to use him to promote The Insider
before his contract expires, NBC decided not to pursue the injunction. The contract expires Aug. 28. However, NBC Universal still plans to go forward with its lawsuit suing O'Brien for breach of contract. While his Paramount lawyers fight with NBC, he is going to Athens with NBC Sports to host 170 hours of Olympics coverage.


After getting crushed by Wimbledon preemptions in the week ended July 4, ratings for most syndie shows recovered in the week ended July 11. Among the games, King World's Jeopardy!
continued to rise as Ken Jennings won his 28th straight game (as of the week ended July 11) and finished as the top show in syndication for the first time in its 20-year history. It tied with King World's Wheel of Fortune
the prior week. Jeopardy!
was up 6% to a season-high 8.4, while Wheel, though up 3%, dropped to second place with an 8.1.

Dating shows, which do well in summer, were exceptionally strong. NBC Universal's Blind Date, the leader for the past 14 weeks, had the year's best ratings, jumping 20% from the prior week to a 1.8. Warner Bros.' elimiDate, in second place, was up 21% to a season-high 1.7.