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CLEANSING PERIOD: NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chair Jeff Gaspin yesterday said that he "hopes the two weeks of Winter Olympics coverage beginning Feb. 12 will be a 'cleansing moment' ... that will allow the network to move past being the butt of jokes" for the late-night situation. Gaspin admitted that NBC is "now in the process of rebuilding many key relationships in the creative community after the turmoil of the Leno decision and other moves." Gaspin: "You want the (creative) community to want you to succeed" (DAILY VARIETY, 1/27). While GE has said that NBC expects to lose $250M on the Vancouver Games, Gaspin contends that he is "glad the network has the event, particularly now." Gaspin: "I look at it as a cleansing moment for NBC to reset its schedule. We'll come out of the Olympics with a new 10 p.m. and a new late night. We have the Olympics as a platform to promote these changes. We have between now and March 1 to re-launch our schedule. It's great timing for us. Whether that's worth $250[M] -- it is for me, it is for NBC." Gaspin added, "I think there's great value to the Olympics. I would love to see us a part of the process but it has to be for the right economics" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 1/26).
HBO Receives Praise From Media Members
For First Episode Of "24/7 Jimmie Johnson"
POSITIVE REACTIONS: SceneDaily.com’s Bob Pockrass wrote on his Twitter account, “Overall first Jimmie Johnson 24/7 was really good. Production quality awesome. A little dramatic but supposed to be.” Former NASCAR Scene writer Jeff Gluck: “NASCAR has never, ever, ever looked cooler than on this HBO show. Even if you don't like Jimmie, gotta love this show if you like racing.” USA Today’s Nate Ryan: “With best reality TV, you learn stuff you don't expect & that was case w/HBO's 24/7. Good production from this amateur's view, too.”
Saints-Vikings Helps Fox Garner Monster
Rating Last Week In Adults 18-49 Demo
CLEARING THE AIR: Canucks GM Mike Gillis yesterday said that team officials "plan to meet with staff of the CBC's 'Hockey Night in Canada' over its criticism" of LW Alex Burrows. Gillis: "We're going to meet with them and we're going to see what their reaction is and go from there." The GLOBE & MAIL's Matthew Sekeres notes the Canucks "refused CBC interview requests" during last Saturday's "HNIC" game against the Blackhawks. Gillis said that the CBC "asked for the meeting, and that the team would likely drop its 'Hockey Night' boycott so long as it receives assurances that its players and officials will be treated fairly by the broadcaster." Gillis added that the Canucks are "not looking to extract an apology" from CBC host Ron MacLean. A Canucks spokesperson said that the meeting is "planned for Friday." Sekeres noted "HNIC" staff "would be in several remote locations because of the program's Hockey Day In Canada special" on Saturday (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/27).
EXTENDING ITS LIFT TICKET: The Ski Channel has extended its rights agreement with Bonnier Mountain Group, the parent company of ski film producer Warren Miller Entertainment. Ski will continue to air Warren Miller films, as well as the series "Spills and Thrills." Ski and Bonnier said that they also are in discussions on a more integrated partnership (The Ski Channel). Ski currently reaches 23 million HHs through distributors including DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable, but the network "still does not have a deal with Comcast, which serves many of the Colorado-Utah skiing areas" (DAILY VARIETY, 1/27).