CABLEWORLD STAFF

Federal investigators have reportedly started cracking Cablevision System’s books in the wake of Cablevision’s accounting investigation at AMC. A report in Newsday on Thursday said the Department of Justice and the FBI opened an investigation into Cablevision after the company revealed on June 18 it found about $18 million in improperly accrued expenses and falsified invoices. The company fired 14 executives. A lengthy probe could sideline Cablevision’s efforts to sell AMC or combine it with another entity. A Cablevision spokesperson said that the appropriate government authorities were notified of the matter, and added it would be inappropriate to comment further. With a rebounding stock price, and more press mentions lately than J.Lo and Ben, TiVo is on a roll. Last week investors snapped up 2.9 million shares sold by the company. TiVo raised over $27 million in the offering, which was underwritten by Deutsche Bank Securities. Net proceeds will go toward building additional cash reserves and to supplement working capital, and not to increasing capital expenditures, the company said. TiVo’s stock soared on last week’s developments. Shares closed Friday at $12.25, up 23.5% since Wednesday’s close. Smith Barney Citigroup is less pessimistic on AOL Time Warner, saying that while the company still faces challenges in turning around its ailing America Online unit and dealing with ongoing federal investigations, financial results should be more positive in coming quarters. Jill Krutick upgraded the stock to In-line from Underperform, and raised the price target on the company to $17 from $11. In late 2003, Sundance Channel and Viacom Productions will be pitching TV Lab, a half-hour pilot about TV pilots, to viewers. TV Lab will consist of mini-pilots for TV shows, introduced by the mini-pilots’ creators. Viacom Productions will have the underlying rights to produce and distribute any network television series based on the mini-pilots. TV Lab itself may become a continuing series on the Sundance Channel, which is currently holding an open call for submissions.

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Spooky Season Programming

Networks are getting ready for Halloween, announcing a slew of programming for October.

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