SEINFELD CAST SET FOR REUNION ON HBO
NBC, which had them, is not getting them, but HBO is -- the original cast of Seinfeld playing the characters they did when the sitcom left the air in 1998. The cast will be reunited for the next season of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm, playing themselves and also playing their characters. David, who co-created Seinfeld with stand-up comic Jerry Seinfeld, told television critics and writers in Pasadena on Thursdaythat while he had resisted suggestions for a reunion of the original Seinfeld cast on his HBO show ("I would always say: 'No way -- it's a lame idea'), the concept of a "show within a show" intrigued him. He said that he co-wrote the scenes with Seinfeld, a process that involved "coming up with the right ideas of what's happened in 11 years." Moreover, it's not a one-off affair. Davidsaid that the reunion is included in half the season's 10 episodes including the season finale, which will likely be extended into a one-hour episode. David hinted that the episode could be the series finale as well. "This one is going to be tough to beat," he said.
CABLEVISION -- CABLE AND SPORTS WILL NO LONGER MIX
Under pressure from investors, Cablevision Systems has decided to spin off its Madison Square Garden unit as well as its MSG cable network and its sports teams, the New York Knicks (basketball) and the New York Rangers (hockey). Investors have long complained about the use of revenue from its cable operations -- which primarily cover the New York metropolitan area -- to support the sports operations. They have complained, for example, that highly lucrative salaries that have been paid to its top players have not resulted in corresponding revenue at the ticket gates. Also on Thursday, the company reported an 8-percent downturn in earnings to $87 million from $94.7 million during the comparable quarter a year ago.
TLC HEAD DEFENDS DECISION TO KEEP JOHN & KATE GOING
TLC channel President Eileen O'Neill told the TV Critics Press Tour in Pasadena Thursday that it will continue to follow the lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin as they live separate lives and deal with their eight children because the split-up makes for "unprecedented television." Said O'Neill: "Our approach to the circumstance was simple: to cover the family with great care and thoughtfulness as they dealt with a subject that is all too familiar to many American families today." The channel has been particularly criticized for exposing the Gosselins' children on national television as they try to cope with their parents' divorce. O'Neill, however, responded: "We will continue to capture this family's journey in a respectful and sensitive way." Jon & Kate Plus 8 is due to return for a new season on Monday.
CBS DOMINATES THURSDAY NIGHT
CBS won every half hour of primetime Thursday night, including the 9:00 p.m. hour, in which a repeat of CSI Crime Scene Investigation edged out Fox's summer hit So You Think You Can Dance. The CSI drama drew 7.5 million viewers to the dance competition's 7.4 million, a difference considered statistically insignificant. (In fact, Dance outranked CSI among the key 18-49 demographic group." A rerun of Grey's Anatomy during the same hour ran out of the money, with 3.38 million viewers, while the NBC comedies 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation averaged an identical number.