- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New waters for ‘Shark’

It will be another spring-break “Shark” attack when CBS moves its James Woods legal drama to Tuesdays next month, says Zap2it.com.

Beginning April 29, “Shark” will find a new home nestled between “NCIS” and the celebrity competition series “Secret Talents of the Stars,” the network announced.

After spending its first season in the peaceful waters of Thursday nights, “Shark” swam to Sunday in the fall. Its time period is currently occupied by censored repeats of Showtime’s “Dexter,” and CBS has ordered three post-strike episodes to air on Tuesdays, with the second-season finale set for May 20.

In other CBS news, the network’s “The Price Is Right Million Dollar Spectacular” specials have been performing so well on Friday nights that CBS wants to milk the Drew Carey franchise for all it’s worth. It has ordered four new prime-time specials for May sweeps. Starting April 30, the “Price Is Right” specials will lead into new episodes of “Criminal Minds.”

Hammer time at NBC

NBC Universal is splitting its television studio into two separate companies to create a new production division led by cable chief Bonnie Hammer, the Hollywood Reporter notes.

The move extracts such scripted cable titles as USA Network’s “Monk” and Sci Fi Channel’s “Battlestar Galactica” from Los Angeles-based Universal Media Studios, shifting responsibility for the cable programs to a newly formed division called NBC Universal Cable Studio.

The new studio will be run by Miss Hammer, who will continue her oversight of USA and Sci Fi. The cable studio’s shows will include “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” which shifted its premieres this season from NBC to USA.

The deal is part of Miss Hammer’s multiyear new contract agreement and represents a significant oversight increase for an executive who’s widely credited with helping increase NBC Universal’s successful cable assets.

The broadcast network, however, has struggled in fourth place in recent years, while cable networks, led by USA, Sci Fi and Bravo, have become significant revenue generators. USA was the most-watched network last year, while Miss Hammer led Sci Fi from a niche channel to the No. 6 cable network.

Short takes

n Turner Broadcasting’s cable networks TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies are teaming to celebrate the 75th anniversary of “King Kong,” the Hollywood Reporter says. TCM will air the original 1933 film at 8 p.m. April 7, while TNT and TBS will simulcast Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake at 8 p.m. on April 11.

n CNN Headline News is setting up an outpost in the sleepy territory of weekend prime time, prepping a 30-minute clip show that shares some genetic material with VH1’s “Best Week Ever,” says MediaWeek.com. Bowing April 5, “Not Just Another Cable News Show” will run every Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight, unseating the network’s weekend encores of “Glenn Beck.” It marks Headline News’ latest foray into entertainment news, a format it first embraced in 2005 with “Showbiz Tonight.” A nightly roundup of celebrity news, “Showbiz” marked the beginning of an overhaul at the network, laying the groundwork for personalities such as Mr. Beck and Nancy Grace.

• While ABC drags its heels on ordering more episodes of Darren Star’s “Cashmere Mafia,” sources say its competition, NBC, plans to renew Candace Bushnell’s “Lipstick Jungle.” According to the New York Post, the network already has ordered new episodes of other shows, including “Samantha Who?” “Pushing Daisies” and “Dirty Sexy Money,” but “Cashmere” was not on the list. An ABC spokeswoman denies that the network has dropped the show. Mr. Starr and Miss Bushnell scored a hit when they teamed for HBO’s “Sex and the City,” based on the latter’s book of the same name.

Can’t stop ‘Dancing’

The return of “Dancing With the Stars” last week gave a boost to ABC, which has been struggling through a tough winter. The competition’s two editions were second in viewership behind television’s dominant show, “American Idol,” according to Nielsen Media Research.

Fox won the week, averaging 10.1 million viewers. ABC was second with 9.2 million viewers, CBS had 8.8 million and NBC 7.1 million. Following were the CW with 2.4 million, My Network TV with 1.2 million and ION Television with 540,000.

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.4 million viewer average, Telemundo had 1 million, TeleFutura had 650,000, and Azteca had 140,000.

For the week of March 17 through 23, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: 1) “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 27.3 million; 2) “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 26 million; 3) “Dancing With the Stars” (Monday), ABC, 21.1 million; 4) “Dancing With the Stars” (Tuesday), ABC, 17 million; and 5) “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 14 million.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wirereports.

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