The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on April 16, 2003 · Page 76
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 76

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ET_E_15_E15_LA_1_04-16-03_we_1_CMYK 2003:04:15:15:04:58 TELEVISION & RADIO CALENDAR WEDNESDAY,APRIL16,2003 E15 LOSANGELESTIMES Computer-Assisted Hip andKnee Replacement. Get the latest on the Discovery Channel today at 8:00 AM Learn about treatment advances for arthritis of the hip and knee. Featuring The Arthritis Institute at Centinela Hospital Medical Center “CATS approaches purrfection!” - Los Angeles Times Final 7 Perfs! NOW THRU SUNDAY ONLY! 213.365.3500 OR 714.740.7878 ticketmaster.com Tower Records,RobinsonsMay,Wherehouse Music, Tu Musica,Ritmo Latino and the Pantages Box Office. GROUP DISCOUNTS: 323.463.4367 BROADWAYLA.ORG Spring break came early for TV viewers, with Fox the only major network to improve versus the same week a year ago, while CBS posted its 21st ratings victory in 29 weeks this season, based on viewing estimates issued Tuesdayby Nielsen Media Research. Despite a significant drop from last year, CBS benefited from its NCAA championship telecast, while NBC scored Tuesday with its Cher concert special —belting out the network’s best performance with an entertainment program for those two hours in 2 1 ⁄ 2 years. NBC’s “Ed” also enhanced its chances of being renewed by ending its third season on a high note — attracting its biggest audience since January despite its shift to Friday, a night when TV viewing levels tend to be lower. On the downside for NBC, “America’s Most Talented Kid” took a dive after promising results its first two weeks. Fox continues to ride the “American Idol” gravy train, with the show’s big Wednesday audience helping “The Bernie Mac Show” deliver its highest rating yet. Moreover, better than 90% of those viewers hung around for the new sitcom “Wanda at Large.” Facing a rerun episode of “ER,” CBS’ “Without a Trace” uncovered its third highest rating. The network’s Clinton-Dole experiment on “60 Minutes,” however, clearly yielded only short-term dividends, with the show’s audience having retreated to where it was before the segment was introduced in early March. On cable, Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” averaged 5.2 million viewers last week, as the channel accounted for 10 of the 15 most-watched cable programs. —Brian Lowry Prime-Time TV Rankings CBS takes top spot for 21st time this season miere ratings for CBS’ series adaptation “My Big Fat Greek Life” and Fox’s “Wanda at Large.” After looking like the beast that swallowed prime time, the lightning advance of staged reality series has also slowed, thanks largely to ABC’s midsea- son clunkers “All American Girl,” “The Family” and “Are You Hot? The Search for America’s Sexiest People.” Suddenly, Disney Chairman Michael Eisner is telling stockholders that scripted comedy is the network’s future, a proclamation sure to be tested as soon as one of ABC’s new programs fails this fall, at which point “Celebrity Extreme Makeover” might sound too good to resist. Until then, agents whose writer clients might have jobs after all should address thank-you cards and floral arrangements to ABC alternative programming chief Andrea Wong, whose department oversees reality shows. Then again, Fox reality guru Mike Darnell, hailed as a genius after “Joe Millionaire,” has demonstrated with “Married by America” that in TV there is no sure thing or Midas touch. Despite these rays of hope for sitcom scribblers, there are still plenty of challenges. They include a dearth of comedy hits to help launch new ones, more pronounced tension between creative types and corporate executives and the sort of heightened anxiety — with “Friends” and likely “Frasier” a year removed from the great sitcom burial ground — that seldom benefits decision-making. The fact that the networks have fewer comedy titans is most significant, given the number of shows that made their debut following “Home Improvement” or sandwiched between “Mad About You” and “Seinfeld,” the berth “Friends” initially occupied. Such advantages don’t ensure success, but they provide the best chance of getting a new program noticed. Lately, however, a shortage of hits has left networks scrambling to establish the next “Friends” or “Everybody Loves Raymond” — true heavyweights capable of propping up the series around them. Dramas, by contrast, have gained ground through what might be called “brand extensions,” adding versions of “Law &Order” and “CSI,” which explains why spinoffs of “JAG” and “Gilmore Girls” are in the pipeline for next season. Even so, nothing matches the rewards of hit comedies, which repeat better than dramas and cost less to produce. As a result, blockbuster sitcoms have historically offered extraordinary payoffs, generating hundreds of millions in revenue from syndication, where local TV stations can run a “Cheers” or “MASH” until the theme becomes a national lullaby. Without such hits, stations will increasingly turn to cheaper original fare (think “Blind Date”) to fill the void. In light of these concerns, the harried development process feels particularly intense this year, with more rapid executive turnover doing little to foster patience. Arelated issue is a lack of trust within the “creative community.” Writers have always been a rebellious lot, but the “us versus them” mentality toward their employers has festered — a perception producer David E. Kelley articulated at last month’s Writers Guild of America awards, saying, “The medium is no longer respected by many of its guardians.” In other words, the viral spread of “reality” has fueled a sense that executives and series creators don’t play on the same team. It doesn’t help, either, that some of the latter’s most exalted members have taken it on the chin of late — from Kelley chafing at ABC’s handling of “The Practice” to Fox firing “Bernie Mac Show” creator Larry Wilmore, to “The West Wing’s” Aaron Sorkin reportedly being cuffed for budget overruns now that the ratings have slipped. Veteran show business observers are prone to reminding us that everything is cyclical, from the prime-time quiz show reemerging with “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” to the long- dormant variety format rising again in the form of “American Idol” and “Star Search.” To these sages, the sitcom — left for dead before “The Cosby Show” exploded onto the scene in 1984 —is simply waiting for the right elements to ignite another much-needed jolt. Still, flipping through this month’s annual “comedy issue” of the Writers Guild magazine, you can’t help but wonder what next year’s edition will look like, and whether a question mark should be affixed to the theme. No one knows a magic formula to revive the genre but,assuming a resurgence is inevitable, now would seem to be the time. As for where to begin, here’s a vote for being funny. When it comes to comedy, that’s usually a good place to start. The right man for the job A S the war in Iraq winds down, pundits and comedians have had a field day proposing career options for MohammedSaidSa- haf,Iraq’s minister of information, who confidently stated that Baghdad was “safe and secure” as U.S. forces encircled the city. Some have joked that Sahaf might have a public relations future with the tobacco industry or AOL Time Warner. Overlooked, however, has been ABC, which happens to have a vacant position overseeing corporate communications. As ABC slogs through a difficult season, it’s easy to see how announcing, “We have driven the infidels out of the airport” is good practice for telling the press, “We’re turning the ship around” or that a fourth-place sweeps finish is “encouraging.” Then again, a fellow who could straight-facedly say “No one is in Baghdad” would also be ideal for Fox, where the PR staff has to say things like “We had no idea that contestant had afelony record” and “Absolutely, what America needs is another Michael Jackson special.” Whatever the situation, you can bet Sahaf will comment and let you decide. At a time when companies push boundaries to garner attention and dare critics to take their best shot, Hollywood can use a guy like Sahaf. Brian Lowry’s column appears Wednesdays. He can be reached at brian.lowry@latimes.com. Fox NUMBERS TELL A STORY: Sitcom “Wanda at Large,” with Wanda Sykes and Phil Morris, earned impressive premiere ratings. Viewers could use a good laugh [ Lowry, from Page E1 ] The Early Show Spring gardening. 7 a.m. KCBS Today Author Bonnie Harris (“When Your Kids Push Your Buttons”). 7 a.m. KNBC KTLA Morning News Steven Cojocaru; “Chasing Papi.” 7 a.m. KTLA Good Morning America War coverage; “Chasing Papi.” 7 a.m. KABC Live With Regis and Kelly Angie Stone (Broadway’s “Chicago”). 9 a.m. KABC Good Day Live Monica Lewinsky. 9 a.m. KTTV The View Jon Voight. 10 a.m. KABC The Wayne Brady Show Henry Winkler; Sheryl Lee Ralph; Andrew Firestone (“The Bachelor”); Dominic Purcell; Sam Harris. 10 a.m. KCAL Oprah Winfrey Effect of war in Iraq on military families. 3 p.m. KABC Dr. Phil Sibling relationships. 4 p.m. KNBC Life & Times Finding affordable housing; author K.C. Cole (“Mind Over Matter: Conversations With the Cosmos”); Mel Brooks, Jason Alexander and Martin Short (“The Producers”). 7 and 11 p.m. KCET Charlie Rose Former Sen. Bob Kerrey. 11 p.m. KCET p.m. Late Show With David Letterman Michael Douglas; Todd Rundgren. 11:35 p.m. KCBS The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Edward Burns;; Tori Amos. 11:35 p.m. KNBC Listings include talk shows that provide aguest list. Today’s Talk Shows SERIES Arachnophobia: Acomputer-based virtual reality treatment and intensive exposure to live spiders are therapies for the fear of spiders featured on “Total Fear” (7 and 10 p.m. Animal Planet). SPECIALS Make ’em laugh: Mark Russell delivers topical one-liners and song parodies in “Mark Russell Comedy Special” (8 p.m. KCET, KVCR). From Pong to Sims: Computer games, which have evolved over 30 years into a multibillion-dollar industry, are featured in “Gameheadz” (10 p.m. TLC). MOVIES Wilde comedy: Michael Redgrave stars in the 1952’s adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” (8:15 a.m. TMC). From Brooklyn to Broadway: Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly star in 1944’s “Cover Girl” (8:40 a.m. AMC). Celebrity angst: Woody Allen directs and stars in 1997’s “Deconstructing Harry” (6 and 10 p.m. IFC). Murder investigation: Kathy Bates is accused of killing her cruel employer in 1995’s “Dolores Claiborne” (6:15 p.m. Showtime). Kidnapped: John Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter star in director John Ford’s 1956 epic western “The Searchers” (8 p.m. AMC). A college education: John Belushi and Tim Matheson star in director John Landis’ 1978 campus comedy “Animal House” (10:30 p.m. TBS). SPORTS Basketball: In what could be Michael Jordan’s last game, the Washington Wizards visit the Philadelphia 76ers (4 p.m. ESPN). Also, the Golden State Warriors play host to the Lakers (7:30 p.m. KCAL). Baseball: The San Diego Padres visit the Dodgers (7 p.m. FSN2). Hockey: The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Mighty Ducks in Game 4of the Western Conference quarterfinals (7:30 p.m. FSN). Today’s Highlights TIPS FOR TODAY 3-4 p.m.—Jewish Stories From the Old World to the New: AllegraGood- man’s “The Four Questions,” read by Mandy Patinkin and KathrynGrody (originally broadcast in 1998), KCRW-FM (89.9). 10-10:30 p.m., 2-2:30 a.m.—The Third Man: Harry Lime (Orson Welles) gets wrapped up in a Central American revolution (originally broadcast Nov. 16, 1951), KNX (1070). DRAMA, COMEDY, FAMILY 10:30-11 p.m., 2:30-3 a.m.—Tales of the Texas Rangers :Two soldiers go on a crime spree when they go AWOL (originally broadcast April 6, 1952), KNX (1070). CLASSICAL Noon-3 p.m.—Charles Andrews: Tchaikovsky (“Francesca da Rimini,” Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) (2:15-2:45 p.m.), KUSC-FM (91.5). 2-3 p.m.—Cost-Conscious Classix: Zemlinsky (1st Symphony, Slovák Radio Symphony Orchestra), KCSN-FM (88.5). 7 p.m.-midnight—Jim Svejda: Kodály (“Háry János Suite,”Budapest Festival Orchestra) (9-9:25 p.m.), KUSC-FM (91.5). POP, COUNTRY, FOLK, JAZZ 10 a.m.-1 p.m.—Global Village ,KPFK- FM (90.7). 1-4 p.m.—Gary Owens, KLAC (570). 7:30-10 p.m.—Metropolis, KCRW-FM (89.9). 8-10 p.m.—Rhapsody in Black, R&B, doo-wop, KPFK-FM (90.7). NEWS, COMMENTARY Continuous News— KFWB (980), KNX (1070). 7-9 a.m.—The Morning Show, KPFK- FM (90.7). 8:55-9 a.m., 11:45 a.m.-noon, 7-7:05 p.m.—Paul Harvey, KABC (790). Noon-1 p.m.—The World, KCRW-FM (89.9). Noon-1 p.m.—Noon Business Hour, KFWB (980). 1-2 p.m.—To the Point, KCRW-FM (89.9). 1-2 p.m.—Business Hour, KNX (1070). 2-2:30 p.m.—Marketplace, KCRW- FM (89.9); also, 2:30-3, 6:30-7 p.m., KPCC- FM (89.3). 2-2:30 p.m.—Middle East in Focus, KPFK-FM (90.7). 2-3 p.m.—Hi Tech Hour, KNX (1070). 2:30-3, 6-6:30 p.m.—Free Speech Radio News, KPFK-FM (90.7). 3-4 p.m.—Native American Airwaves, KPFK-FM (90.7). 3-6:30 p.m.—All Things Considered, KPCC-FM (89.3); also 4-7 p.m., KCRW- FM (89.9). 4-5 p.m.—Peacewatch, KPFK-FM (90.7). 5-6 p.m.—Beneath the Surface, KPFK-FM (90.7). 6-6:30 p.m.—Evening Update, KCSN- FM (88.5). 6:30-7 p.m.—California Focus: Local Flavor, KCSN-FM (88.5). 6:30-7 p.m.—Evening News, KPFK- FM (90.7). 7-7:30 p.m.—Which Way, L.A.? KCRW-FM (89.9). TALK, INTERVIEW 5-9 a.m.—Bill Handel, KFI (640). 6-9 a.m.—Mark Larson & Larry Marino, KRLA (870). 6-10 a.m.—Mark and Brian, KLOS- FM (95.5). 9-11 a.m.—Bill O’Reilly, KABC (790). 9-11 a.m.—Larry Mantle’s Airtalk, KPCC-FM (89.3). 9 a.m.-noon—Rush Limbaugh ,KFI (640). 9 a.m.-noon—Dennis Prager, KRLA (870). 10-11 a.m.—The Right Brothers, KPLS (830). 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m., 7:05-10 p.m.—Al Rantel, KABC (790). 11 a.m.-noon—Sam Rubin, KLSX-FM (97.1). 11 a.m.-noon—Bob Morey, KPLS (830). 11 a.m.-1 p.m.—Talk of the Nation, KPCC-FM (89.3). Noon-2 p.m.—George Putnam, KPLS (830). Noon-3 p.m.—Sean Hannity, KABC (790). Noon-3 p.m.—Laura Schlessinger, KFI (640). Noon-3 p.m.—Frosty, Heidi and Frank, KLSX-FM (97.1). Noon-3 p.m.—Michael Medved, KRLA (870). 1-2:30 p.m.—Talk of the City With Kitty Felde, KPCC-FM (89.3). 2-3 p.m.—Stock Talk, KPLS (830). 2:30-3 p.m.—The Treatment, KCRW- FM (89.9). 3-4 p.m.—Moe Ansari, KPLS (830). 3-5, 8-9 p.m.—Hugh Hewitt, KRLA (870). 3-7 p.m.—Larry Elder, KABC (790). 3-7 p.m.—John & Ken, KFI (640). 3-8 p.m.—Tom Leykis, KLSX-FM (97.1). 4-7 p.m.—Laura Ingraham, KPLS (830). 4-8 p.m.—Duffy and Co., KKLA-FM (99.5). 5-8 p.m.—Michael Savage, KRLA (870). 7-10 p.m.—Phil Hendrie, KFI (640). 7-10 p.m.—Neil Boortz, KPLS (830). 8-11:35 p.m.—Conway & Steckler, KLSX-FM (97.1). 10-11 p.m.—Arts in Review, KPFK- FM (90.7). 10 p.m.-midnight—Loveline, KROQ- FM (106.7). 10 p.m.-1 a.m.—Mr. KABC, KABC (790). 10 p.m.-4 a.m.—Art Bell, KFI (640). Radio Here are the rankings for national prime-time network television last week (April 7-13) as compiled by Nielsen Media Research. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish. Nielsen estimates there are 272.04 million potential viewers in the U.S. age 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions. Program Network View- ersProgram Network Viewers 1 CSICBS26.45 2 American Idol (Tue.)FOX20.13 3 American Idol (Wed.)FOX19.17 4 Survivor: AmazonCBS19.08 5 “NCAA Basketball Championship” CBS18.57 --------------------------------------------6 Without a TraceCBS17.54 7 “Cher: Farewell Tour”NBC16.57 8 FriendsNBC14.94 9 “Prelude to a Championship” CBS14.12 10 Law & Order: SVUNBC13.82 --------------------------------------------11 Fear FactorNBC13.50 12 Third WatchNBC12.97 13 Bernie MacFOX12.93 14 60 MinutesCBS12.76 15 Wanda at LargeFOX12.12 --------------------------------------------16 Everybody Loves Raymond CBS12.11 17 60 Minutes IICBS12.07 18 Law & OrderNBC12.04 19 The SimpsonsFOX12.02 20 ScrubsNBC11.95 --------------------------------------------21 CSI (Sun.)CBS11.82 Crossing JordanNBC11.82 23 24FOX11.75 24 ERNBC11.59 25 Law & Order: Criminal Intent NBC11.48 --------------------------------------------26 Will & GraceNBC11.35 27 EdNBC11.22 28 That ’70s ShowFOX11.18 The BachelorABC11.18 30 NYPD BlueABC10.88 --------------------------------------------31 BeckerCBS10.80 32 My Big Fat Greek LifeCBS10.46 33 JAGCBS10.23 34 King of QueensCBS10.14 35 Good Morning MiamiNBC9.97 --------------------------------------------36 Dateline: NBC (Wed.)NBC9.92 37 The PracticeABC9.51 38 Oliver BeeneFOX9.37 39 Malcolm in the MiddleFOX9.25 40 Star Search (Wed.)CBS9.16 --------------------------------------------41 My Wife and KidsABC9.15 42 “ABC News Special” (Mon.) ABC8.91 43 BoomtownNBC8.74 44 48 Hours Investigates (Wed.) CBS8.64 45 Boston PublicFOX8.61 --------------------------------------------According to Jim (9 p.m.)ABC8.61 47 America’s Most Talented Kid NBC8.57 48 Without a TraceCBS8.48 49 American’s Funniest Home Videos ABC8.44 “ABC News Special” (Wed.) ABC8.44 --------------------------------------------51 8 Simples RulesABC8.38 52 HunterNBC8.13 53 George LopezABC8.12 54 Star Search (Fri.)CBS8.01 55 Dateline: NBC (Sun.)NBC7.98 --------------------------------------------56 The West WingNBC7.85 57 Lost at HomeABC7.84 58 American DreamsNBC7.78 59 Judging AmyCBS7.74 America’s Most WantedFOX7.74 --------------------------------------------The DistrictCBS7.74 62 DragnetABC7.68 63 According to JimABC7.55 The GuardianCBS7.55 65 Married by AmericaFOX7.51 --------------------------------------------66 “Dr. Doolittle”ABC7.24 67 The AgencyCBS7.23 68 48 Hours Investigates (Fri.) CBS7.19 69 HackCBS7.14 70 Primetime ThursdayABC7.11 --------------------------------------------71 Cops (8:30 p.m.)FOX7.07 72 Law & Order (Sat.)NBC6.80 73 20/20 (Fri.)ABC6.65 PittsFOX6.65 75 The Practice (10 p.m.)ABC6.53 --------------------------------------------76 King of the HillFOX6.51 77 Will & Grace (Tue.)NBC5.91 78 “Big Daddy”FOX5.72 79 “My Best Friend’s Wedding” ABC5.62 80 CopsFOX5.50 --------------------------------------------81 WWE Smackdown!UPN5.43 82 America’s Funniest Home Videos (Sat.) ABC5.07 83 8 Simple RulesABC4.97 84 Touched by an AngelCBS4.88 85 King of the Hill (7 p.m.)FOX4.87 --------------------------------------------86 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (9:30 p.m.) ABC4.73 87 Regular JABC4.57 88 AliasABC4.54 89 That ’70s Show (Thu.)FOX4.38 90 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (8 p.m.) ABC4.28 --------------------------------------------91 CharmedWB4.17 92 One on OneUPN4.14 93 The ParkersUPN4.06 94 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (8:30 p.m.) ABC3.93 95 AngelWB3.92 --------------------------------------------96 EnterpriseUPN3.69 97 7th HeavenWB3.65 98 Whose Line Is It Anyway? (9 p.m.) ABC3.57 99 GirlfriendsUPN3.48 100 SmallvilleWB3.39 --------------------------------------------Dawson’s CreekWB3.39 102 RebaWB3.36 103 PulseFOX3.28 104 Jamie Kennedy (9 p.m.)WB3.22 105 Half and Half (Mon.)UPN3.10 --------------------------------------------106 Buffy the Vampire SlayerUPN2.81 107 Grounded for LifeWB2.77 108 Black SashWB2.76 109 EverwoodWB2.64 110 Gilmore GirlsWB2.58 --------------------------------------------111 Greetings From TucsonWB2.25 112 Gilmore Girls: BeginningsWB2.22 113 What I Like About YouWB2.17 114 On the SpotWB2.02 115 Half and Half (Tue.)UPN2.01 --------------------------------------------116 Jamie Kennedy (8:30 p.m.) WB1.92 117 “Fled”UPN1.88 118 Girlfriends (Tue.)UPN1.87 119 The Twilight ZoneUPN1.79 120 Sabrina, Teenage WitchWB1.61 Network averages Here is the number of viewers (in millions) that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season. Network Last week Season to date CBS11.4812.61 -------------------------------------------- NBC10.7111.70 -------------------------------------------- FOX8.889.86 -------------------------------------------- ABC7.2210.23 -------------------------------------------- UPN3.223.56 -------------------------------------------- WB2.954.09

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