2 stations' lucky number is 17

Tied: WMAR and MPT both won the same number of Emmy nominations

Radio and Television

June 02, 1999|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

WMAR, Channel 2, and Maryland Public Television won the most local Emmy nominations with 17 apiece, according to a final list released by the Washington chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

New nominations for WMAR, announced since the first list was released May 10, came in the areas of program segments, news series (for "Hometown Portraits"), cinematography/videography and graphics, while additional nominations for MPT were for public affairs programming, children's programs ("Vid Kid"), program segments and features series.

For WBFF, Channel 45, the runner-up with 16 nods, additional nominations were earned in children's programs, news segments, cinematography/videography and graphics.

Among other local stations, WJZ, Channel 13, finished with with nine nominations, WBAL, Channel 11, with five.

Interestingly, WBAL, although it garnered only five nominations, got the most bang for its buck: half of its 10 entries will be eligible for Emmys. By comparison, WJZ submitted 42 entries, WMAR 41, MPT 47 and WBFF (combined with sister station WNUV, Channel 54) 58.

MTV in Paradise

MTV has scheduled a full slate of summer shows that will take advantage of its production facilities on Paradise Island in the Bahamas (not to be confused with the Paradise Island that was home to Wonder Woman).

Among weekday programming that will display a decidedly Bahamas flavor:

"Hot Zone" (10 a.m.), with Amanda Lewis and a celebrity guest introducing the hottest videos from various tropical locales.

"MTV's Global Groove" (noon), with Nadya and DJ Skribble as host for a dance party originating from the Bahamas and other locations throughout the world.

"Real World/Road Rules Theater" (1: 30 p.m.) will include beach-goers' comments on what those carefully chosen real people are doing up there on the screen.

Happy birthday, WXYV

WXYV-FM (102.7) will celebrate its second birthday tomorrow with a concert at the Pier 6 Pavilion featuring 98 Degrees, Eagle Eye Cherry, Divine, B*Witched and Michael Africk.

The concert is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are sold out, but may still be won through various on-air promotions.

Dubbing is beautiful

Despite winning Oscars for acting, writing and music, Miramax Films' Italian-language "Life Is Beautiful" has not even been considered by any of the American networks, Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said during an interview at the Cannes Film Festival.

Speaking at the American Pavilion in an interview with critic Roger Ebert, Weinstein attacked the parochialism of the networks for not having the courage to air foreign films, even major successes such as "Life."

Miramax has already announced plans to release an English-dubbed version of the picture, the highest-grossing foreign release ever in the United States.

"Not one network has offered us a deal," he said. "I'm hoping that when they see the English-language version they'll respond in a big way."

`ER' finishes at No.1

Nothing like getting rid of a major cast member to shore-up a show's ratings.

Buoyed by interest in the buildup to co-star George Clooney's midseason departure, NBC's "ER" claimed the prime-time ratings crown for the 1998-99 TV season -- the third time in the hospital drama's five-year run that it has finished at No. 1.

Although "ER" reclaimed the top spot it had lost last year to "Seinfeld," the show's overall audience fell, as viewers continue to abandon the networks in favor of cable fare.

"ER" was seen by an average of 25.4 million viewers this season, compared to 30.2 million in 1997-98. It averaged 30.8 million in '96-97 and 32 million in '95-96.

NBC's Thursday-night juggernaut continued to lord it over the competition, claiming five of the top 10 shows. "Friends" and "Frasier" were Nos. 2 and 3, respectively ("Friends" has now been the most-watched 8 p.m. show four years in a row), while "Veronica's Closet" ranked seventh, and the freshman comedy "Jesse," starring Christina Applegate, finished fourth.

CBS's ever-popular "60 Minutes" finished at No. 8 (same as last year), its 22nd year in a row in the Top 10.

It actually finished 11th in 1996-'97, but one of the top 10 that year was "Fired Up," which had aired only four times. But even given that, no prime-time show has ever been No. 11 or better 22 years in a row.

ABC's "Monday Night Football" ranked fifth, same as the year before. Which may help explain why, in January, the network retained rights to the weekly gridiron showdown with a deal that costs it $550 million a year.

CBS' "Touched by an Angel" also cracked the Top 10, finishing at No. 6, the same as the year before. The CBS Sunday movie franchise finished ninth.

ABC's "Home Improvement," which closed for good last week with a high-rated finale, clocked in at No. 10 for the season, the same slot it occupied the year before. The eight-year-old show peaked at No. 1 in the 1993-94 season.

Not counting "Jesse," which benefited hugely from its Thursday-night neighbors on NBC, the highest-ranked new show was that network's surprise Friday hit, "Providence" (No. 19).

Fox's "The X-Files" made another strong showing this year, moving to No. 11 from No. 19 the year before. CBS's "Everybody Loves Raymond" and ABC's "Drew Carey" validated themselves as hits, ranking No. 12 and 14, respectively.

Sun wire services contributed to this report

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