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Sweeps End, and the Spinning Begins

November 27, 2000

The end of the November rating sweeps--which officially conclude Wednesday night--marks the beginning of a game in which the networks try to put the best face on their respective performances. The spinning takes place during conference calls conducted for some reason before the sweeps are over, with CBS playing meet-the-press today, while ABC and NBC weigh in Tuesday. Given that CBS doesn't have much to crow about in terms of overall results this month, other networks are speculating about what announcements CBS might make to draw attention away from the survey itself--the most obvious being where the network will schedule "Survivor: The Australian Outback," which joins its lineup in late January after a post-Super Bowl premiere. Though CBS has said an announcement isn't forthcoming, the suspicion springs from last February, when the network seemingly sought to deflect any focus on its ratings by announcing plans to renew popular series such as "60 Minutes" and "Touched by an Angel." ABC, meanwhile, will struggle to put a positive face on its sweeps scorecard, given that "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" is looking much weaker than it did during sweeps in February and May, suggesting the Regis Philbin-hosted quiz sensation may be fading more rapidly than anyone anticipated it would.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday November 29, 2000 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 2 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Tape delay--An In the Know item in Monday's Calendar stated that the interactive "My VH1 Awards" on Thursday will be shown live. The live broadcast will be on the East Coast only. A taped version of the show will be shown on VH1 at 9 p.m. on the West Coast.

The Awards File (Foreign Division)

The presidential race is not the only one up in the air; the same holds true for movie awards this year. With no clear favorites emerging yet for Academy Awards, the 89 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., who annually confer Golden Globe Awards on their favorite films, could see their decisions take on increased significance this year. On Friday, the association will mail out nominating ballots to each member--all of whom are journalists working for overseas publications. This year, there are 102 dramas and 79 comedies or musicals that are listed on the Golden Globe ballots. The foreign journalists will be asked to choose nominees in 24 categories--13 in film and 11 in television--and return their ballots by Dec. 18. The nominations will be announced early on the morning of Dec. 21 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Winners will be feted during a televised, star-studded party at the same hotel on Jan. 21. How difficult is the association's task in choosing nominees this year? "I think this year there is a little bigger question mark than usual because you have lots of really good films but very few standouts," said association spokesman Michael Russell, who then added, "the race has never been more exciting." Russell noted that a number of contenders--ranging from "13 Days" and "Cast Away" to "Finding Forrester" and "All the Pretty Horses"--have yet to be released, but said that members are cramming each day with screenings between now and when their ballots are due. The question always arises: Are films that come out late in the year favored over those that were released early in the year, as "Erin Brockovich" and "Gladiator" were this year? Not necessarily. Russell noted that "The Lion King" and "Forrest Gump," which each came out in the summer of 1994, won Golden Globes for, respectively, best comedy/musical and drama, while the barnyard fable "Babe" came out in August 1995 and went on to win the Golden Globe for best comedy/musical the next year.

The Awards File (Internet Division)

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