• PROGRAMMING



BET premieres College Hill: Interns tomorrow night at 10pm.

BlueHighways TV is launching on VOD with Atlantic Broadband, starting Oct. 29 in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.

CBS head Les Moonves says 18 cable operators, "including eight of the top 25," have agreed to shell out cash for carriage — except for the five largest MSOs: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox and Cablevision, which account for 51 million subscribers, or 63% of the nation’s total. [New York Times]

Comedy Central cut-up Stephen Colbert went on NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday to hype his mock presidential bid with a game Tim Russert. More in the New York Times.

Disney Channel will run Pass the Plate, a daily series of interstitials promoting healthy eating, during its top-rated Hannah Montana series.

Fox Business Network "will take a few years" to unseat CNBC, Fox News head (and former CNBC-er) Roger Ailes tells the New York Times. News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch echoed those sentiments at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting Friday, where he also said he expects Fox News Channel’s value to exceed $10 billion in a few years, and to stay at the helm through 2010. Meanwhile, Neil Cavuto was just glad to get through FBN’s first week, telling the National Review, "I guess I’m satisfied."

HBO is developing a series with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie about international humanitarian workers; Bourne Ultimatum co-writer Scott Burns is writing the still-untitled project. [Hollywood Reporter] San Francisco Chronicle TV critic Tim Goodman offers his repair plan for HBO here.

ION premieres Terry Pratchett’s Discworld-based Hogfather miniseries on Nov. 25.

Lifetime Movie Network announced the winning entries in the first LMN student filmmaker competition, which will be shown on LMN and on lmn.tv.

MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath recaps her career for the New York Times.


National Geographic Channel premieres India’s Hidden Plague, a special about women and AIDS in India on Nov. 30 at 10pm ET/PT in the U.S. and worldwide on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day.

Nickelodeon premieres animated movie Dora Saves the Mermaids on Nov. 5; and committed to a 20-episode 2nd season of Just Jordan, which moves to Saturdays at 8:30pm on Nov. 3. Nick also greenlit pilots on four live action series, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The U.S. Olympics Committee is looking at launching its own cable network, "possibly before the Beijing Olympics next summer," USOC chief operating officer Norm Bellingham tells USA Today. "We should have done this 15 years ago. I think it fills a void, and not a sports void necessarily. I think there’s a message" in Olympic stories, he comments.


Time Warner Cable is promoting corporate sibling Warner Bros.’ Fred Claus holiday theatrical release with online and HD extras and a sweepstakes. 



• ONLINE

Big media companies are frustrated that their tallies of website visitors are lower than those of ComScore and other web tracking companies. “You’re hearing measurement as one of the reasons that buyers are not moving even more money online,” comments Wenda Harris Millard, president for media at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, to the New York Times. “It’s hugely frustrating. It’s one of the barriers preventing us from really moving forward.”

Disney Channel will launch a virtual world to promote Bunnytown, its preschool series that premieres Nov. 10, reports TV Week.

Lifetimetv.com will stream live the 2007 Women’s Conference tomorrow co-hosted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver.

MySpace today launches its first original series, Roommates, featuring three-minute daily episodes.

NBC‘s The Office fans in Scranton, PA, this weekend host the first Office Convention, featuring a number of cast members and producer Greg Daniels, who will scout for local color, reports the New York Times.

Nickelodeon announced the launch of myNOGGIN, a subscription-based service for preschoolers and their parents costing $5.95/yr, $7.95/6 months or $9.95/month.

Si TV unveiled two community-based sites, entertainment.sitv.com and trends.sitv.com, to connect its 18-34 year-old audience with each other and integrate performers and sponsors. 

TNT‘s The Closer was a cable stand-out in TiVo’s just-released Stop|Watch ratings for August.

Viacom chief Philippe Dauman told Web 2.0 Summit attendees that Google’s new copyright protection system isn’t enough to get his networks back on YouTube.




• MOBILE


The CTIA’s Wireless I.T. and Entertainment 2007 conference starts tomorrow in San Francisco. Some pre-show headlines:


AOL tapped Thumbplay for ringtones and other mobile content.

AT&T next month starts offering access to more than 5 million music downloads in a multi-year agreement with Napster that includes exclusive content from Matchbox Twenty and other performers.


Heavy.com content is now available to Virgin Mobile Canada customers.

Lifetime tapped July Systems to enable its mobile portal that "is expected to be available to subscribers of all major North American operators including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile."

MobiTV, now boasting 3 million subscribers, signed a multi-year agreement with Sprint to extend their mobile TV deal.

NDS demonstrates its WiMAX TV product at the WiMAX Forum conference this week in Taiwan, just as WiMAX was accepted by the U.N. telecommunications agency as a global standard for mobile devices, reports AP.

Qualcomm‘s MediaFLO, which is preparing to launch on AT&T by year-end, is profiled in RCR Wireless News.

Skype is going wireless with 3 Mobile, a carrier based in Europe, Asia and Australia, reports Business Week.

Verizon EVP for public policy Thomas Tauke said at last week’s Web 2.0 Summit that his company is pushing for a "two-door policy" where customers can either choose an unlocked device or a locked device that’s subsidized by carriers, reports Information Week.

The Wall Street Journal looks at how cellphone users are customizing their cellphones.

Yale School of Management professor Judith Chevalier argues for "wireless wiggle room" in her New York Times op-ed column.



• MORE



AT&T sued Vonage last week, it was disclosed Friday, over a patent for routing phone calls over data networks including IP-based web networks. Vonage settled a patent dispute with Sprint Nextel for $80 million earlier this month, and Verizon has also sued Vonage over alleged patent infringement. [AP | Infoworld]

AT&T‘s U-verse setback in Connecticut could hinder its national roll-out, writes Hartford Business Journal, while Ad Age ponders whether AT&T botched its rebranding of Cingular.

National Cable Communications, which reps cable ad sales for Cox, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, has booked $3 million in political ads to date. [Multichannel.com]

Canadian cable and satellite TV operators are pushing to import foreign channels such as USA Network, reports the Globe & Mail.

Mona Shaw, the 75-year-old disgruntled Comcast customer in Virginia who stormed a payment center and smashed a keyboard with a hammer, received (reports AP) a slap on the wrist: a 3-month suspended sentence, a fine of $345, and an order to stay away from the Comcast offices for a year. No worries: she has reportedly switched to DirecTV for video and Verizon for phone service.


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