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E! Sets Fare To Boost 18-34s

Los Angeles — E! Entertainment Television will premiere five new original series and a bevy of specials during the summer, aimed at boosting viewership among its adult 18-to-34 target audience, according to E! Networks president and CEO Ted Harbert.

First up on June 5 is Fight for Fame, in which five aspiring actors compete for one day to get signed by a major Hollywood talent agency. Next is Party at the Palms (June 15), which looks at Las Vegas hot spot the Palms Casino Hotel. In July, Kill Reality brings together cast members of various reality shows who star in New Line Cinema’s upcoming horror flick The Scorned. August will see the debut of The Girl Next Door, a peek at life for women living at the Playboy Mansion; and Cattle Drive, in which Beverly Hills kids are forced to work and live on a ranch.

Fox News’ Rita Cosby Jumps to MSNBC

Secaucus, N.J. — Rita Cosby will join MSNBC in June with an eye toward hosting her own evening show in the fourth quarter, according to MSNBC president Rick Kaplan.

A three-time Emmy Award winner, Cosby had been serving as host of Fox News Channel’s The Big Story Weekend Edition and Fox News Live with Rita Cosby.

Cartoon Net Starts Closing Upfront Deals

New York — With the broadcast networks poised for their presentations, the kids upfront market was in gear last week. A spokesman for Cartoon Network said the network began to close deals early last week.

As of midday Friday, Cartoon had written about 75% of its upfront business, with movement in toy video games, consumer product and entertainment sectors.