news digest


Cable's big guns: 'Gunn,' 'Superhero'

Bravo's new series "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style," featuring the popular mentor from the network's "Project Runway," debuted at 10 p.m. Thursday to nearly 1 million total viewers and 571,000 in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research. That's a 134% increase over the time-period average for the third quarter and a 111% increase in the demo. Meanwhile, 994,000 viewers tuned in to the second-season finale of Sci Fi Channel's "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" to see Austin police Det. Jarrett Crippin win the prize of being immortalized in his own comic to be written by Stan Lee. The two-hour finale aired at 8 p.m.

Ski Channel, Ride Guide going tandem

The Ski Channel, set to launch next year, has inked its first episodic TV deal with Calgary-based Ride Guide TV, producers of skiing and mounting biking programming. The deal includes premiere windows for the company's library of ski and mountain bike shows; use of its clip library, which contains thousands of hours of footage from throughout the world; and joint production efforts on new programming. Ride Guide also is producing 26 new half-hour episodes a year of its "The Ride Guide" series.

CBS tuning up 'Night at the Grammys'

The Recording Academy and CBS are teaming for "My Night at the Grammys," a two-hour TV special that will present 25 of viewers' favorite Grammy show moments as determined by an online vote. The show, set to air at 8 p.m. Nov. 30, also will go into the stories behind the Grammy moments as told by the artists themselves. Starting today, fans can vote at from among 50 moments from past telecasts, selected by the academy. The deadline to vote is Oct. 7.

Web distribution warms up for 'Summer'

NEW YORK — "Prom Queen: Summer Heat," a Web series from Michael Eisner's Vuguru new-media studio, will be promoted and distributed through several Internet platforms, including MySpace and YouTube, the company said Friday. "Summer Heat," which debuted last month, is the sequel to "Prom Queen," an online series that also appeared this year on MySpace. The series will be marketed and distributed through Verizon's VCast service, Bebo, Web video companies Veoh and Revver and others.

Oz, Singapore ink co-production pact

SYDNEY — The governments of Australia and Singapore signed a co-production treaty Friday, 10 days after China and Australia entered into a similar film and TV production partnership. Australian Arts Minister George Brandis and Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo signed the agreement as part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. The treaty covers film, TV and new media and ensures that film and television production incentives will be available to projects made as co-productions. The agreement is expected to come into force this year.

Suit against NFL Players Assn. dismissed

A federal judge in San Francisco has dismissed a lawsuit that accused the NFL players' union of inadequately representing 3,500 retired players. The suit alleged, among other things, that the NFL Players Assn., then run by current SAG national executive director Doug Allen, and its licensing subsidiary Players Inc. diverted millions of dollars from Players Inc. to support "substantial salaries" of NFLPU management (HR 8/1).