Skip to main content

The week that was


Despite the recession, AT&T Broadband
at deadline on Friday said it is hiking basic subscribers' bills an average of 7.4%, nearly triple the rate of inflation, starting Jan.1. The biggest hikes will likely be seen in Boston.


has given full-season orders to The Education of MaxBickford,
The Agency, and second-year drama That's Life
and canceled new Saturday-night drama Citizen Baines, which had averaged a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen. CBS programmers have also pulled new drama Wolf Lake
for the sweeps; its long-term future is also iffy. ... MTV Networks
laid off 450 people last week, about 9% of its worldwide work force. Internet units MTVi
and Nickelodeon Online
took the biggest hits, but the terminations "touched every channel," said one staffer. …

Moviewatch, a new cable net from Hubbard Media Group
set to launch next year, unveiled its first slate of original programming last week. "We want to be like the Zagat's
guide to restaurants for movie fans," says Rod Perth,
its president. The network has ordered nine pilots so far and plans to launch with four or five hours of original programming. Startup costs: More than $150 million. …

NBC Studios
is taking over production of Julia Louis-Dreyfus's
mid-season comedy 23:12
from Carsey-Werner-Mandabach. The comedy starring the former Seinfeld
sidekick was recently given a 12-episode order. ...

Terry Wood,
profiled in BROADCASTING & CABLE last week as one of the "next wave" of female power brokers, has been named senior vice president of programming at Paramount Domestic Television. …

veteran Bobbie Battista, host of TalkBack Live
and a CNNer since 1981, exited last week. She will form an Atlanta-based communications consulting company with husband John Brimelow. …

The exciting Game 5 of the World Series
delivered a 16.8/26 last Thursday night, a 7% gain over last year's fifth and deciding game in the Mets-Yankees
World Series. Fox's
five-game average of 15.9/25 is 5% better than last year's 15.1/24 and 1% better than 1998's 15.7/25 for the Yankees-Padres.


Geraldo Rivera
is leaving CNBC
to join Fox News Channel
and eventually will go to the war zone. CNBC and Rivera have been unhappy with each other for months. The network wanted his prime time slot for business news. He's now being released with two years left on his contract. "I'm not the same guy I was before the maniacs tried to tear our hearts out," Rivera said. ...

From fake reality to the real thing. That's the switch made Friday night, with the debut of ABC News
magazine America '01, replacing The Mole. The new show, the network says, is designed to document how the country has changed and continues to change since Sept. 11.


Laura Hunter, senior vice president of programming for TV Land, died Oct. 29 in Stanford, Calif., from cancer. Hunter joined Nickelodeon
nine years ago. …

Pioneering low-power TV broadcaster Sherwin Grossman
died last Wednesday of complications from bone cancer. Grossman, 77, was president of the Community Broadcasters Association
from 1994 to 2000 and operated a Miami LPTVer.


After four consecutive weeks as No. 1 in two categories, NBC
lost the total viewers race by about 100,000 viewers, CBS
averaging 12.84 million vs. NBC's 12.74 million. NBC was tops in adults 18-49, with a 5.0 rating/13 share, according to Nielsen. …CNN
nudged out Lifetime
by just the slightest margin to top this month's cable Nielsens. Three-hundredths of a point separated CNN (1.81) and Lifetime (1.78) in October prime time ratings.


As many as 75 staffers at Sony's
network, syndication and other TV-related operations are expected to be cut in the course of downsizing. A story in the Oct. 29 edition indicated that the cuts were coming only from Columbia TriStar.