Los Angeles, California – Four of six national television broadcast networks recently wooed potential advertisers for the 2005-2006 season with programming offerings in the new development phase. These included NBC, Fox, ABC and The WB. Two other networks, CBS and UPN, plan to preview their offerings March 24.

After four years of focusing on high-profile reality television, network executives are turning to the past for inspiration on scripted series. Some networks said they are “more consciously aggressive about developing shows” that recall such classics as Taxi and Barney Miller, Craig Erwich, a programming executive for Fox, told USA Today. In the same report, Kevin Reilly, NBC entertainment chief said, “I don’t think the answer has to be that it’s groundbreaking or something you’ve never seen before.”

But at least one ad buyer had reservations about the rear-view mirror technique …

For: Wikinews

New York – Barry Diller’s InterActiveCorp (IAC) is near a $2 billion deal to buy search engine Ask Jeeves, according to a report in Monday’s Wall Street Journal.

The corporate boards from both companies were in talks all weekend negotiating what appears to be an all-stock deal. If approved, the price tag would be a substantial premium over Ask Jeeves valuation of $1.4 billion as of Friday’s stock market close.

The acquisition of Oakland, California-based Ask Jeeves by IAC would mean they own a known brand name and get a foothold in revenues from search engine advertising. The company also would become a direct competitor with companies such as Google, Yaho and …

For: Wikinews

San Francisco, California – Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer struck down two California laws that limited marriage in the state to a union of opposite-sex couples. The ruling came one year after San Francisco made worldwide headlines when it opened its city hall to same-sex weddings over Valentine’s Day weekend through March 11 2004.

Kramer said the two California laws violated the state’s constitutional guarantees of privacy and a legal concept called due process – which tries to ensure each person is treated equally by the law. “The denial of marriage to same-sex couples appears …

For: Wikinews