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BEST OF MULTICHANNEL.COM: PROGRAMMING

7/11/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

AMC Pulls Plug on Wedding Central

NEW YORK — AMC Networks has
shut down its nearly two-year-old
Wedding Central channel.

The 3.5 million-subscriber network
launched in August 2009 as a spinoff
of WE tv’s popular wedding-themed
programming block that included
such shows as Bridezillas. It went off the air last July 1 amid the AMC Networks
spinoff from Cablevision Systems, according to AMC officials.

The service was carried on Cablevision’s iO digital cable service, Mediacom
Communications’ digital basic tier and Time Warner Cable’s East Region digital
basic tier.

Wedding Central launched with more 300 hours of series, specials and
movies related to weddings, dating and relationships — mostly from sister
service WE — targeted toward women ages 18-49.

“We made a strategic decision to reallocate our resources to further the
momentum and success of our four nationally distributed networks,” AMC
said in a statement, referring to AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv. “WE
tv, the network that pioneered the wedding genre, will remain home to new
and returning series for our passionate viewers who love all things bridal.”

Starz Shuts Gates on ‘Camelot’ After One Season

NEW YORK — Despite some solid ratings, Starz decided not to conjure up a second
season of Camelot.

The premium channel elected not to renew options for an additional campaign
of the series, which starred Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur, Eva Green
as his half-sister Morgan and Joseph Fiennes as Merlin.

“Due to significant production challenges, Starz has decided not to exercise
the option for subsequent seasons of Camelot with our production partners
GK-tv, Octagon Films and Take 5 Productions,” the network said in a statement
on June 30.

Deadline.com reported some of the key cast members had scheduling conflicts for the costume drama, which was shot in Northern Ireland.

The June 10 episode averaged 1.03 million viewers for the series finale,
while an encore added more than 400,000 watchers as it finished with 1.5
million that night.

That trailed only the 1.13 million viewers for the series starter and 1.6 million
on its opening night, which was tops for a Starz original series. The penultimate
episode summoned more than 1 million watchers.

Camelot debuted around the same time as premium-network costume dramas
Game of Thrones on HBO and The Borgias on Showtime. Both of those
shows won quick renewals after their debuts in April. Game of Thrones built
audience over the course of the season and averaged 3 million viewers for the premiere of its final episode last month, and some 9 million viewers overall, when encore, DVR and on-demand airings were factored in. By way of comparison, The Borgias averaged 3.3 million weekly viewers via its multiple points of entry,
Showtime said, outpacing the best season of The Tudors.

USA Orders 11 Episodes of ‘Common Law’

NEW YORK — USA Network picked up the original series Common Law with an
11-episode order, with production beginning in August in New Orleans.

The series, starring Michael Ealy and Warren Kole as two cops whose difficult partnership gets in the way of their work in the LAPD, is from CBS Television
Studios and Junction Entertainment. Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley,
John Turteltaub and Craig Sweeny serve as executive producers.

“When CBS Television Studios sent us the script of Common Law, we immediately
fell in love with the writing, the characters and the premise,” USA
co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber said in a release. “We’re very
lucky to have the Wibberleys, Jon and Craig guiding the process on this show;
and with Michael and Warren, we have two stars who bring out the best in
each other.”

‘My Cat From Hell’ Renewed by Animal Planet

SILVER SPRING, MD. — My Cat From Hell is returning to Animal Planet after a
springtime tryout.

A three-part miniseries was successful
enough that the network
has ordered six one-hour episodes
to air in the first half of 2012.

The network called the series a
fan favorite among feline lovers,
especially female viewers, bringing
in a healthy audience for the network’s
Saturday night pet-programming
block.

Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy applies 15 years of feline experience and
proven training techniques to help exhausted, distraught cat owners improve
their relationships with their hellish cats.


My Cat From Hell
is produced for Animal Planet by 3 Ball Productions. Melinda
Toporoff is the executive producer for Animal Planet. JD Roth, Todd Nelson
and Adam Greener are executive producers for 3 Ball.

Longhorn Network Gets Two Texas Football Games

BRISTOL, CONN. — ESPN and the University of Texas’ Longhorn Network will kick
off their rookie season with a pair of UT football games.

The collegiate sports network, which is seeking a 40-cents monthly license
fee in Texas and three adjoining states, will showcase Texas hosting Rice in
high definition from Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday,
Sept. 3, at 6 p.m. (CT). The contest, just six days after the launch of the network,
will encore later that night at 11 p.m.

The second game, a Big 12 intraconference match, will be determined later.

A&E Greenlights Season 2 of ‘Breakout Kings’


NEW YORK — A&E Network
is bringing back freshman crime drama Breakout
Kings
for a second season.

The series, which stars Laz Alonso (Southland, Avatar) and Domenick Lombardozzi
(The Wire) as U.S. marshals who head up a team of convicts pulled
from jail to track down and capture prison escapees, averaged 1.9 million
viewers during its first 13-episode run, A&E said.

The series is expected to launch its sophomore campaign sometime in firstquarter
2012.

The March 6 premiere episode of Breakout Kings set a network series
premiere ratings record among adults 25-54 (1.6 million viewers) and adults
18-49 (1.5 million viewers), but fell short of the 3.6 million total viewers that
A&E’s drama series The Glades drew in its summer 2010 debut.


Breakout Kings
finished its freshman campaign drawing 2 million viewers in
its May 30 finale.

Hallmark Hall of Fame Lands at ABC, Hallmark

LOS ANGELES — The Hallmark Hall of Fame has found a pair of new homes.

The venerable franchise, which has earned 79 Emmys and 11 Peabodys,
has signed a multi-year deal with ABC to premiere its movies, which will then
encore on Hallmark Channel a week later. The cable channel will show the
movies in a four-run burst over that span.

During its 60-year history, Hallmark Hall of Fame programming has been
broadcast on ABC, NBC and, most recently, CBS.

First up on its new watch on ABC: Have a Little Faith, based on Mitch Albom’s
best-selling book, for which he also penned the screenplay. The telefilm, a Michigan-based project by Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, stars
Laurence Fishburne, Bradley Whitford and Martin Landau.

ABC and Hallmark Channel will cross-promote their telefilms.

Skies Will Fall Again for TNT Freshman Series

NEW YORK — TNT has renewed alien invasion drama Falling Skies for a second
season.


Falling Skies
, from DreamWorks Television and executive producer Steven
Spielberg, stars Noah Wyle. The “drama” network has ordered 10 additional
episodes, slated to air in summer 2012.

The series drew a live-plus-7 audience of 8 million total viewers for its premiere,
making it cable’s top series launch of 2011. The debut of the June 19
installment attracted 3.8 million persons 18 to 49. Its first three episodes
have averaged 6.4 million viewers, according to a blend of live and time-shifted
viewing numbers.

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