NBC has decided to use reruns from USA Network and internationally-produced shows to help fill the void created by the writers strike. The network will air the “Monk” and “Psych” reruns on Sunday during prime-time. According to Ben Silverman, two shows are currently being produced for NBC outside the US using foreign writers not bound by WGA contracts. CBS is also considering the use of reruns from Showtime, according to Les Moonves.
DAVID LETTERMAN will follow Leno and Conan back to work on January 2nd and he plans to bring his writers with him. Letterman’s independently-owned production company Worldwide Pants is planning to sign an interim deal with writers before Jan. 2nd. ABC’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel will return on Jan. 2nd without his writing staff.
THE FCC approved changes to media-ownership rules, making it possible for companies to own both a television station and a newspaper in the top 20 markets. Those markets must contain eight independently-owned and operated media voices. The Commission also approved a rule to prevent individual cable companies from controlling more than 30% of the TV market. That new cap should restrict the growth of Comcast, which currently has 27% market share.
SPECTRUM BIDDERS are now known to include Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. and an investment firm run by Roy Disney. Qualcomm, MetroPCS Wireless and US Cellular Corp. have also registered to bid on the valuable 700 MHz spectrum, which will become available for use when analog television shuts down on February 17th, 2009. The landmark auction is set for January 24th.
MTV NETWORKS will enlist Jerry Bruckheimer to head a new MTV Games studio that will receive over $500 million in funding. The studio will be staffed with video game experts, artists and storytellers. As head of the unit Bruckheimer will focus on strong storytelling to create compelling, interactive titles.
IAC will use BRIGHTCOVE as its platform of choice for all IAC sites. Brightcove technology will soon appear on Ticketmaster, Citysearch and humor site 23/6. IAC is a minority investor in Bightcove.