New Season, New Deals for the Studios. Stars Galore.Following the Los Angeles Screenings, critics were predicting a formidable new U.S. TV season. The season began on September 17. Wrote Howard Rosenberg in the Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times
Morning daily newspaper. Established in 1881, it was purchased and incorporated in 1884 by Harrison Gray Otis (1837–1917) under The Times-Mirror Co. (the hyphen was later dropped from the name). : "The fall promises an unusually strong lineup of new series. Who'd have thought that possible nowadays?" Commented Marc Berman, senior television writer for Mediaweek: "This year, we'll see more theatrical stars heading to the small screen, more legal-oriented hours, an emphasis on reality and two shows -- Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Roswell -- flipping networks [from the Warner Bros BROS Brothers
BROS Benefits and Retirement Operations Section (King County, Washington)
BROS Barnes and Richmond Operatic Society (London, UK) .' The WB to Paramount's UPN UPN User Principal Name (Microsoft Windows 2000)
UPN United Paramount Network
UPN Unión del Pueblo Navarro (Navarrese People Union)
UPN Umgekehrte Polnische Notation ]."
The Screenings also emphasized that business is no longer "usual" for the studios accustomed to nice, plum output deals.
For those programmers looking to acquire video-on-demand (VOD See video-on-demand.
VoD - video on demand ) rights -- "abandon all thy hopes before entering the Hollywood Freeway" -- at least for those who seek DSL DSL
in full Digital Subscriber Line
Broadband digital communications connection that operates over standard copper telephone wires. It requires a DSL modem, which splits transmissions into two frequency bands: the lower frequencies for voice (ordinary (telephone connection) systems VOD rights.
According to Carlo Macchitella, chief program buyer for Italy's RAI rai
A form of popular Algerian music combining traditional Arabic vocal styles with various elements of popular Western music and featuring outspoken, often controversial lyrics. , broadcasters have a new business model to face: the fact that studio's output deal no longer works for them. "We're getting away from the logic of output deals in favor of package deals," stated Macchitella. This, explained Macchitella, is because of the studios' recent trend of pre-selling the full rights of the best theatrical movies, which empties the output deal of its most desirable product. In addition, the strong dollar has forced broadcasters to better amortize program acquisitions. "At this point," he said, "it is convenient for us to seek pre-production deals for all rights and then maximize product exploitation through our outlets: RAI-Cinema for theatrical, home video, Pay-TV and free TV."
Naturally, pointed out Macchitella, "with fees that vary from seven to 10 percent of the cost of the negative, the presale fees are higher than those charged by the output deal, but the advantages with the pre-sale are greater." While output deals give broadcasters four runs in four years, pre-sales offer 20-year deals. Macchitella also stated that, this year, RAI will invest $175 million in program acquisition, a figure that has remained stable for the past five years.
Diane Davidson of German-based Media Net Corn went to the Screenings to acquire VOD rights. The problem facing Davidson was that rights were for a DSL-based VOD service. With a cable-TV system, there would not have been a problem.
Because DSL-based services fall under the Internet category; no studios or major independents (such as Hearst, Hallmark, Fremantle, et at) for that matter, were willing to concede the rights to their programs. Better to see what the studios are going to do, and follow their lead," warned Hearst's Tom Devlin.
Nevertheless, the indies fared very well at the Screenings, with most of the 100-plus companies that were screening reporting good traffic and brisk business. The 91 distributors that exhibited at the Park Hyatt Hotel were mostly happy with the accommodations. Initially there was some trepidation about the switch from the nearby Century Plaza Hotel The Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles is a landmark 19-story luxury hotel forming a sweeping crescent design fronting the spectacular fountains on Avenue of the Stars adjacent to the twin Century Plaza Towers. -- the traditional headquarters of these informal events for the past 36 years.
On the fun and recreational side, there were fewer parties than last year. Those that rolled out the red carpet: CBS (Cell Broadcast Service) See cell broadcast. International's party at the "W" Hotel gardens, the Latin Americans' independent party at the Hyatt Hotel, Universal's party at the Egyptian Theater and the princely prince·ly
adj. prince·li·er, prince·li·est
1. Of or relating to a prince; royal.
2. Befitting a prince, as:
a. Noble: a princely bearing.
b. Paramount bash at the studios. The soccer match between the studios and the international broadcasters held at the Beverly Hills High School Beverly Hills High School (usually abbreviated as "Beverly" or as "BHHS") is the only major public high school in Beverly Hills, California. (The other public high school in Beverly Hills, Moreno High School, is a small alternative school located on Beverly's campus. field drew a nice crowd.
Returning to the programs, 33 sitcoms made the U.S. networks' selection followed by 28 dramas and 23 reality/documentary series.
MTV's three new shows still defy classification. The large number of reality series was developed to front the looming possibility of an actors' strike. This year, cable networks such as MTV MTV
in full Music Television
U.S. cable television network, established in 1980 to present videos of musicians and singers performing new rock music. MTV won a wide following among rock-music fans worldwide and greatly affected the popular-music business. E!, USA, FX and Showtime flexed their programming muscles with 22 new series. In addition, U.S. Spanish-TV Network Univision, unveiled its own season with a few gems for some of the 850 international buyers (versus 610 last year) attending the Screenings.
Among the theatrical stars dotting the television horizon, Mediaweek's Marc Berman noted Richard Dreyfuss, Marcia Gay Harden Marcia Gay Harden (born August 14, 1959) is an Academy Award-winning American actress. Biography
Harden, one of five children, was born in La Jolla, California, daughter of Beverly (née Bushfield), a housewife, and Thaddeus Harold Harden, a Texas , Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips and Sally Field (in midseason).