Programming Briefs


Animal Planet Probes 'Dragons’ Reality, Myth

Silver Spring, Md.Animal Planet will explore the legends behind one of the planet’s most popular, yet mythical animals: dragons.

Working with production crews, scientists, artists and animators from around the globe, Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real premieres March 20 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The show uses computer-generated imagery from the same company that made creatures for Discovery Channel’s Walking with Dinosaurs special to present viewers with a view of what dragons may have looked like.

It also imagines how dragons would have evolved into a number of different species through the ages and around the world.

Patrick Stewart narrates the special, to be followed by the 30-minute Dragons: The Magic Behind The Scenes.

Encore Puts Focus On Kevin Smith’s Films

Englewood, Colo. — Director Kevin Smith will host a night dedicated entirely to himself and his work on Encore, March 25.

The salute kicks off at 7 p.m. (ET/PT) with Smith’s appearance on The Directors, which will feature clips from his films Clerks, Dogma, Chasing Amy, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Mallrats, as well as interviews with Smith and the actors in his films.

Chasing Amy airs at 8 p.m., followed by Clerks at 10 p.m. At 11:35 p.m., Encore will present the premiere of An Evening with Kevin Smith, in which Smith shares humorous tales with college audiences across the country.

The next night at 9 p.m., sister Starz Entertainment Group LLC network Starz! will present the TV premiere of Smith’s latest feature, Jersey Girl, at 9 p.m.

Fox Soccer Cashes In On Euro Zone Matchups

Los Angeles — Supplementing its coverage of the English national team’s quest to reach the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Fox Soccer Channel has acquired exclusive rights to televise 20 European zone qualifying matches this year.

The schedule — beginning with a live doubleheader March 26 featuring Romania vs. Holland, followed by Bulgaria vs. Sweden — will carry into October.

ESPN’s the High Scorer In Sports Emmy Nods

New York — Lifted by four nods apiece for SportsCenter and its “ESPN25” programming specials, ESPN topped the pack with 28 Sports Emmy Awards nominations.

NBC — with 14 nominations tied to its coverage of the Summer Olympic Games from Athens — was second with 23 overall. Fox was third with 18, followed by ABC and Home Box Office — the latter including five for newsmagazine Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel — with 17 apiece. CBS was next with one-dozen.

Cable services grabbed the rest of the nominations: NFL Network (four), ESPN2 and Turner Network Television (three each); FSN (two); and ESPN, FX, In Demand’s INHD, NBA TV, Outdoor Life Network and USA Network, all with a single nod.

The 26th Annual Sports Emmy Awards will be presented May 2, at the Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center.

23 Cox Markets Get a ¡Sorpresa!

AtlantaCox Communications Inc. has added Hispanic children’s network ¡Sorpresa! in 23 more markets.

¡Sorpresa! targets six- to 14-year-olds across the day: the network features morning and afternoon programs that are popular with preschoolers, while its evening programs are aimed at tweens and teens. Programming is from children’s producers from around the globe, including Mexico, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Spain and Chile.