MOONVES: YOUNG VIEWERS AREN'T "UPSCALE"
Advertisers are making an incorrect assumption when they say that their principal targets are 18- to 34-year-old upscale viewers, CBS chief Les Moonves observed Thursday. "There are no upscale 18- to 34-year olds -- except my children. And they have to ask me for money. It's a bullish*t demographic category," Moonves told the McGraw-Hill Media Summit in New York in response to a question from BusinessWeek editor Stephen Adler. Despite ranking generally as the No. 1-rated TV network, CBS has traditionally appealed to an older audience. "The [baby]boomer is still where the money is," Moonves said. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that Fox's American Idol continues to be a monster. ... It's a phenomenon. If somebody would kill that show, I'd really appreciate it. ... It's tough to compete with it." Despite finishing as the top-rated TV network for the past six years, CBS is likely to give way to Fox this year, most analysts have predicted. "Yeah, we'll finish No 2," Moonves conceded.
WILL APPLE REPLACE TIVO?
Several Apple-related websites have taken note of an October 2006 patent application by Apple proposing a remote control device that would store program listings and allow users to select which programs to record. The websites have suggested that the functionality of such a device already exists in the form the iPhone/iPod Touch (although the device depicted in the patent application resembles the iPod Nano) and could be combined with the Apple TV for recording. Some suggested that the devices themselves could simultaneously record the selected programs so that viewers would have the choice of viewing them either on their television sets or on the handheld units.
RAPPER TO REDO SOAP THEME
Rapper/record producer/actor Snoop Dogg will not only make a cameo appearance on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live but he'll also redo the show's theme, according to the New York Post. He's scheduled to appear on the May 8 and 9 episodes of the long-running soap, which will also feature his theme, the newspaper said. "I've been a fan of One Life to Live since I was a baby. ... My momma always had it on the tube in the crib growing up. The opportunity to change up the theme song and give it some of my flavor will make the show the life of the party," Snoop said. Supervising music director Paul Glass told the Post: "I'm a huge fan of Snoop and I'd love to hear what he'd come up with."
MURDOCH AND SAUDI PRINCE TO LAUNCH ARAB NETWORKS
Rupert Murdoch is partnering with Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to launch two English-language channels in the Middle East, Daily Variety reported today (Friday). The first channel, Fox Movies, is due to go on the air in May. A second channel, primarily featuring reruns of U.S. TV shows, will launch in November, the trade paper said. Prince Waleed, who reportedly holds a 5-percent stake in Murdoch's News Corp., also owns seven TV channels in the Middle East through his media company Rotana.
GARRY SHANDLING IS FIRST CELEB WITNESS AT PELLICANO TRIAL
Garry Shandling said on the witness stand at private eye Anthony Pellicano's trial Thursday that his former manager, Brad Grey, had hired Pellicano after Shandling sued Grey for "triple dipping" -- that is, receiving three different fees for performing the same work for the comedian. His lawsuit, he alleged, touched off efforts on the part of Grey, Pellicano, and attorney Bertram Fields to assassinate his character. "There were incredible public attacks (that were intended) to destroy my reputation," Shandling testified. He said that after filing the lawsuit, he was advised to have his phones "swept" but that no bugs were found. According to pretrial reports, Pellicano used telephone-company employees to tap telephones from outside the homes of his targets. Shown a report of background checks on him performed by LAPD Sgt. Mark Arneson, Shandling remarked, "This bothers me as much as the first time I saw it." In the end Shandling received a settlement from Grey, now the head of Paramount Pictures. In a statement issued following Shandling's testimony, Grey acknowledged that he had had a "long personal and professional relationship" with Shandling. "Our friendship was overtaken by a legal process that was directed by lawyers and which ended with an equitable settlement," Grey said.