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'Housewives’ Heading To Lifetime in August

New York — Lifetime Television viewers soon will be able to stroll down Wisteria Lane now that the channel has nabbed exclusive basic-cable rights to Desperate Housewives, the Emmy-winning ABC hit.

The women’s-targeted network will begin airing the first season of the series, one episode a week, in August. Starting in September 2008, Lifetime has the rights to strip the series Monday through Friday.

Lifetime declined to comment, but the network is reportedly paying about $500,000 an episode to sister company Buena Vista Television for rights to the primetime soap-opera. TBS was also bidding on the show.

'Kill Bill’ Plays In Calif. Towns

Sacramento, Calif. — Municipal cable regulators in California are launching an all-out effort to “kill the bill.”

A missive from National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors president Lori Panzino-Tillery, the division chief of franchise programs for San Bernardino County, Calif., to the group’s members hit fax machines across the state late last week in response to the announcement of a telco-friendly cable-franchising-reform bill by cosponsors Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys).

The fax, said the bill, enabling statewide franchising for new entrants, is “bad for local government, California consumers and bad public policy for California.” It noted that city officials worked with state legislators for 18 months, but the draft does not address municipal concerns such as the loss of local right-of-way fees, connections to schools and libraries and local emergency-notification systems.

EarthLink, Google to Run S.F. Wi-Fi

San Francisco — EarthLink Inc. and Google Inc. have landed a deal to set up and run a Wi-Fi network here. For EarthLink, the city contract award adds to its growing ranks of municipal wireless systems, which now includes Philadelphia, Anaheim and Milpitas, Calif. Although the junior partner in the venture, Google gains its first entry as a network service provider.

The final agreement must now be negotiated, but the plan submitted to the San Francisco TechConnect Committee calls for EarthLink and Google to spend $10 million to build the Wi-Fi network using gear provided by Tropos Networks and Motorola Inc. The network will cover 46.7 square miles and consist of some 1,500 Wi-Fi base stations attached to utility poles and buildings.

From there, San Franciscans would have two choices for service — either a free service offered by Google with throughput speeds approaching 300 Kilobits per second downstream, or a $20 monthly subscription service from EarthLink with throughputs upstream and downstream approaching 1 Megabit per second.