- The Washington Times - Friday, October 2, 2009

Comcast eyeing NBC

Comcast Corp. is in negotiations to buy 20 percent to 50 percent of NBC Universal, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

Two people described the talks to Associated Press, confirming earlier reports. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the preliminary nature of the talks, AP said Thursday.

The deal hinges in part on whether the French conglomerate Vivendi SA decides to sell its 20 percent stake in NBC Universal. General Electric Co. owns the rest.

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable TV provider, could use NBC Universal to broaden the content it distributes. NBC Universal has several cable channels plus the NBC and Telemundo networks, Universal Pictures movie studio and a chain of theme parks. A 50 percent stake could cost at least $10 billion, AP said.

Back to school

That clock around Flavor Flav’s neck says it’s time to return to reality TV.

The original basic-cable ladies’ man is teaming with producer Eric Ortner to shop a new series to networks in which he returns to high school to earn his diploma.

Flav (or as he was known in school, William Drayton) says he dropped out in the 10th grade.

Who knew?

“I just want to show the world it’s never too late to get your diploma and show kids they should stay in school and not wait until you’re old to get it,” Flav said. “Everybody sees me as this big love mogul. Now I got a baby girl, I’ve been there and done that, and now it’s time for the next episode.”

Flav starred in VH1’s “The Surreal Life,” “Strange Love” and three seasons on the popular dating show “Flavor of Love,” which set ratings records for the network. Flav ended up settling down with a woman he met outside the show.

“Flavor of Love” spawned sequels that ran into controversy recently when contestant Ryan Jenkins was accused of murder.

With VH1 looking to move away from lurid dating shows, Mr. Ortner — who would be executive producer of the show with Ethan Goldman and Michael Hirschorn — thinks the timing is right for Flav to return with a new format.

“It’s perfect timing to change the type of show he was going to do and be more message-driven,” Mr. Ortner said, noting the project was in the works before the Jenkins scandal.

Land of ‘Oz’ rides high

“Dr. Oz” could be an antidote for the recent daytime ratings woes.

The new syndicated talk show (seen weekdays at 3 p.m. on the District’s CBS affiliate, WUSA9) opened strongly for Sony, tying for second place in its first week (Sept. 14 through 18) among women 25 to 54, Variety reports.

“Dr. Oz” was on par with “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” but both were far behind the longtime daytime champ, “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

According to Variety, the first week of “Dr. Oz” topped any talk show in seven years in national households, with an average audience of 2.6 million per day.

For the week of Sept. 14 through 20, “Dr. Oz” was third in households. It followed “Oprah” and “Dr. Phil.”

Among the top markets, “Dr. Oz” performed strongly at 3 p.m. on WNYW in New York, at 5 p.m. on KTTV in Los Angeles and at 9 a.m. at WFXT in Boston.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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