Programming Briefs

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Lauer to Help Find 'Greatest American’

Silver Spring, Md.Discovery Channel has enlisted Matt Lauer, host of NBC’s Today, to help find the Greatest American.

Lauer will host the cable network’s 20th-anniversary special event, a seven-hour primetime program set to begin airing in June.

Discovery and America Online first announced their search for the “Greatest American” of all-time last month.

The cable network and the Internet-service provider have teamed on a campaign that combines original TV and online programming with interactive online features.

Viewers and surfers can submit nominations and vote online (www.aol.com/greatestamerican) until Feb. 16. Nominees can come from any field. A list of 100 candidates will be established.

Tennis, E! to Serve Up Tsunami Benefit Replay

Los Angeles — Current and former tennis pros got together in Houston last month to hit balls to help raise money for the Southeast Asia tsunami disaster.

This month, E! Entertainment Television and The Tennis Channel will air encore presentations of the fundraiser.

E! will supply a one-hour highlight show from “Serving for Tsunami Relief” Feb. 17 at 10 p.m. Tennis — which produced the show from the Toyota Center in Houston Jan. 31 — will air the full three-hour event, beginning Feb. 23 at 6 a.m. (ET)

Each channel will televise a phone number that audiences can dial to make donations to the relief effort.

Participants included current players Andy Roddick and Tommy Haas and hall of famers John McEnroe, Chris Evert and Jim Courier.

'Daily Show’ Has A Very Good Week

New YorkComedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart posted its second-most-watched week ever Jan. 31-Feb. 3.

The show averaged 1.5 million total viewers over that span, second only to its “Election Week ’04, when it pulled 1.7 million.

The Daily Show also ranked second in its 11 p.m. time slot among men 18 to 34 for all of cable, fifth in total viewers and fourth among viewers 18 to 49.

Dish Net Deploys Pentagon Channel

Englewood, Colo.EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network has added the Pentagon Channel.

The Defense Department’s news and information network for and about the military is now part of Dish’s public-interest channels at no additional cost, but a second satellite dish may be required.

The network provides Department of Defense news including top-of-the-hour updates, broadcasts of the flagship newsmagazines from each of the services.

ABC Family To Air 'Beautiful People’

New York — Eyeing a summer premiere, ABC Family has ordered eight episodes of Beautiful People from Sony Pictures Television.

The one-hour coming-of-age drama tracks the ups and downs of two teenage sisters and their recently divorced mother. The Kerr family relocates from a small town in New Mexico after the younger sibling receives a scholarship to attend a prestigious private school in New York, where the girls find it’s not so easy to fit in.

Production is slated to begin this spring.

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