• PROGRAMMING

Cable premieres tonight range from high-brow to low-brow: BBC America premieres World News Today, its nightly newscast anchored by veteran BBC correspondent Matt Frei, at 7pm and 9pm ET, while USA premieres Dr. Steve-O, a reality show featuring Jackass alum Steve-O, at 11:05pm.

Bravo‘s Queer Eye begins its final season tomorrow night — find out why CableWorld editor Seth Arenstein calls the final season opener a let-down.

Comedy Central premieres Kenny vs. Spenny on Nov. 14. The Canadian series, which pits old friends against each other in goofy competitions, premiered in the U.S. on GSN.

Court TV, Borders and gather.com are launching a search for the next great crime writer.

DIY premieres Celebrity Rides: Burt Builds a Bandit, a series featuring Burt Reynolds, on Oct. 19. Fans can submit videos to win Reynolds’ restored car at heavy.com.

FEARnet launches a "Scariest Haunted House Search" competition today, inviting horror fans to upload photos of their Halloween decorating efforts.

Fox Business Network offers a sneak peek today starting at foxbusiness.com, ahead of its Oct. 15 on-air launch. BusinessWeek looks at how FBN’s competitors are getting ready, with CNBC president Mark Hoffman commenting, "The question isn’t whether we’re ready for Fox Business [but] are they ready for us."

HBO, with a Sex and the City movie now shooting in New York, has shelved its planned movie version of Deadwood, according to comments made to the Cinematical blog by Deadwood actor Ian McShane.

IFC, National Geographic Channel and Sundance Channel are participating in the Global Perspectives Project. Administered by ITVS International, a unit of the federally mandated Independent Television Service, the $19 million initiative will fund independent documentaries in 41 countries, with a goal to double that output by 2010. PBS and other networks plus mobile and Web platforms will showcase the films, while American docs will also gain distribution in other countries as part of the program. [Release | New York Times]

Lonely Planet, the privately-held Australian travel media company whose TV series are a staple on U.S. networks including Current TV, is being sold by co-founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler (who will maintain a 25% stake) to BBC Worldwide.

MTV and the Clinton Global Initiative announced CGI-U, a campus-based pro-social effort spearheaded by President Clinton that kicks off at Tulane in the 1st quarter. MTV will premiere a related special, MTV and CGI Present: Giving — Live at the Apollo on-air on Oct. 12 and online at think.MTV.com.

RipeTV and sister channels OctaneTV and FlowTV are expanding to Sprint Mobile TV via a deal with VMBC.tv.

Shop Latino TV today launches on EchoStar‘s Dish Latino package.

Spike TV announced a slate of original non-scripted pilots including 1,000 Ways to Die, from Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers producer Thom Beers.

Studio 4 Networks is being acquired by Canada’s Knightscove Media Corp. Studio 4 operates three VOD channels branded Studio4 Learning, Fitness and Kids.

Turner‘s WTBS in Atlanta today rebrands as Peachtree TV.

Versus will premiere South Sydney Story, a six-part docuseries about Russell Crowe’s rugby team, starting Oct. 10.

World Championship Sports Network will provide exclusive live Olympic and other sports event coverage to ESPN360.com as part of a new broadband video deal that expands on WCSN’s deal with ESPN. Leo Hindery’s InterMedia Partners also becomes WCSN’s majority shareholder through an equity investment announced today. Hindery, meanwhile, is busy fundraising for Dem presidential nominee John Edwards.

• ONLINE

The first RIAA case against an alleged file-sharer goes to court tomorrow, when Jammie Thomas, a Charter.net customer whose name was provided to the RIAA by Charter Communications, will fight charges she posted more than 1,700 songs to illegally download on the Kazaa P2P network. [Los Angeles Times]

Bucking iTunes pricing and other online distributors, Radiohead is letting fans decide how much they want to pay on the band’s website to download tracks from their new album, In Rainbows, reports the Wall Street Journal.

eBay is taking a $1.4 billion charge related to Skype, acknowledging that the IP-based phone service was a poor fit for eBay. Co-founder Niklas Zennstrom has stepped down to become executive chairman of Skype’s board. [Bloomberg]

Microsoft is following Google‘s lead by offering software over the Internet. [New York Times]

• IN OTHER NEWS


Former Viacom CEO Tom Freston’s long-standing battle with the New York school system goes before the U.S. Supreme Court today. Freston is fighting to force school boards to pay for special needs education in private as well as public schools, after the city refused to pay for his son’s education at a Manhattan academy for students with learning problems. Any proceeds will go to charity, he says. [AP | Wall Street Journal]

Scientific American looks at Microsoft and Motorola‘s respective products to follow video between platforms and devices.


MobiTV hired cable veteran Charlie Nooney as CEO. [RCR]

TiVo hired Robert Barnett to lead a new direct response advertising group; he reports to Karen Bressner. Return to today’s top headlines >

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Honors and Awards

Telemundo ’s sports commentator Andres Cantor has been honored with the National Soccer Hall of Fame 2020 Colin Jose Media Award. He

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