Wednesday, May 27, 2009

News Round-up: Willey, Larson, FNL, GodTube

ABC mulls post-merger exec plan
With the broadcast upfronts over, attention is focusing on ABC, which is piecing together a new executive structure. ABC said in January it was merging ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios under president Stephen McPherson, but it opted to defer any executive changes until after the end of the development season, with McPherson spending the past few months examining the synergies between the units.

AMC's Willey and Larson to appear on "Odd Couple" in Ottawa
Tickets for “The Odd Couple” are now on sale. The performance will feature ALL MY CHILDREN actors Walt Willey (as Felix Ungar) and Jill Larson. The show will kick off Ottawa’s Riverfest on July 24-26. Willey said if the three scheduled performances sell out, he is prepared to add an extra matinee on Saturday afternoon.

NBC entertainment president Ben Silverman says that while the current plan is to deliver 13 midseason episodes of CHUCK, depending on the ratings, "we may extend it out and continue it through the summer," where he thinks it could pair nicely with FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.

FNL has paid off for DirecTV
"It's paid off for us and we're pleased with it," says Eric Shanks, DirecTV's entertainment executive vp. "We're happy to kind of play the part we do in the equation." The show's executive producer Jason Kamins adds that the critical success of his show has helped it last. "If this sets a benchmark for other quality shows that otherwise wouldn't have survived without this kind of relationship, I'll be very proud."

GodTube Founder Buys AmericanLife TV Network
Dr. Robert Schuller, former pastor of Crystal Cathedral Ministries, and Chris Wyatt, the founder of religious video site GodTube, have acquired baby boomer targeted cable network AmericanLife TV. ComStar Media Fund, for which Wyatt currently serves as CEO, will purchase the cabler, which reaches nearly 13 million subscribers, for an undisclosed sum. The plan is to turn the network into a “family values” channel, though they claim it will not become a religious network per se. The on-air look will change, as will the syndicated programs the network seeks to acquire.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If they take off MARY TYLER MOORE or LOST IN SPACE, I will be seriously annoyed. Who defines "family values" anyway?

1 comment:

  1. I'd say we will probably have to say goodbye to all of the great 1960s and 1970s programs featured on "AmericanLife TV."

    I loved it as a place to see "Mission: Impossible" 5 days a week, the "Mary Tyler Moore" show and the other MTM-produced shows in a bloc on Monday nights, and other great stuff like "Lou Grant", "The Time Tunnel," and "Burke's Law." I ignored all of the other 'original' programming--most of which seemed to be acquired from Canadian production companies (so much for "American Life"!).

    I guess now I'll be ignoring the channel completely once it's been revamped to showcase a religious organization's version of "family values." No thanks, Dr. Schuller.