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The week that was

FX's Rampart may rankle L.A.

We smell a controversy brewing. FX
said late last week that it has ordered 13 episodes of Fox Television Studios
police drama Rampart, which concerns a group of corrupt Los Angeles cops and their conflicted captain. But a network spokesman says the drama "is not taken from the real Rampart scandal," which threw the city police force and government into crisis in the late '90s when undercover officers in the Los Angeles Rampart district were accused of all kinds of criminal corruption. The series is planned for next spring. "I expect it will raise some eyebrows," says FX President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly. ...

News in the news

Gary Condit's ABC News
interview helped the network sail to a weekly victory in all key demos. ABC won the week of Aug. 20-26 in both total viewers (9.7 million) and adults 18-49 (3.3 rating), according to Nielsen Media Research. ABC's victory in the adults 18-49 demo snapped NBC's 18-week string atop the category. ...

See and be seen

Court TV
kicks off its run of British reality series Ratrap

with two half-hour episodes Sept. 12. The series chronicles petty crimes like theft and break-ins and analyzes how they could have been prevented. ...

TLC's special The Human Face, hosted by Monty Python legend John Cleese, harvested an average 1.6 rating for its two parts on Sunday and Monday nights. The special, which explores the human fascination with faces and beauty, scored markedly higher than TLC's 0.9 August average in prime. ...

The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards: 2001
scored UPN's highest female ratings for a Tuesday night in the network's history. The Source
awards averaged a 3.7 rating/11 share among females 18-34 and a 2.9/8 in females 18-49, according to Nielsen Media Research. The special averaged 5.4 million viewers and delivered the network's largest Tuesday audience in more than 31/2 years. ...

VH1's original movie The Way She Moves, about a young woman who falls in love with her salsa instructor, glided to a 1.3 household rating for its premiere Wednesday night with 1.2 million viewers. The rating is a dramatic improvement for VH1, which has been averaging a 0.4 in prime time all summer. ...

The people mover

The latest in a wave of executive defections from the Discovery Networks
came last week when Charley Humbard,
senior vice president and general manager of Discovery Digital Networks, resigned to pursue business ventures in interactive videogames. Humbard headed Discovery's six digital networks for the past three years and had been with Discovery since 1993. ... Microsoft
co-founder Paul Allen
filed with the SEC to sell 1 million USA Networks
common shares. The filing shows that he expects to raise $23 million in a sale and that he sold almost 1.2 million shares two weeks ago. Allen still has approximately 28 million USA shares. He got the stock when USA bought Ticketmaster, in which he held a major interest. ...

Dean Goodman
was named chief operating officer at Paxson Communications. He has been president of Pax TV since it launched in August 1998. ... KNBC(TV)
Los Angeles Vice President and News Director Nancy Bauer Gonzales
will be leaving the station in what management described as a "mutual and amicable" parting. No replacement was immediately named. She had been news chief since 1997. ...

Jock patrol

Fox Sports
ad executives are close to locking in their remaining Major League Baseball post-season ad sales, and sources say the rates are comparable to baseball post-season spots a year ago, with 30-second ads going for $300,000-$325,000 apiece. Advertisers include Miller, Anheuser-Busch, Gillette, John Hancock, Energizer, Charles Schwab
and Radio Shack. Insiders say Fox has sold close to 80% of its inventory for the World Series and 65% for the playoffs. ...

Coming off its X Games success, ESPN2
will roll out a weekday extreme-programming block called EXPN Global TV on Sept. 10. ...ESPNews
unveils its spruced-up multi-element screen on Sept. 7, ESPN'
s 22nd anniversary. The new look is highlighted by a real-time scores-and-stats ticker that is continuous, even during commercials.

Cable's new big guys

MTV, The Learning Channel, American Movie Classics, CNBC, Headline News and ESPN2
are all expected to cross the 80 million-subscriber mark in September, according to Nielsen Universe estimates. That's about as big as a cable network can get.