The network known for "Behind the Music" is now behind the eight ball. VH1's ratings have suffered so drastically (down some 30% from a year ago) that the Viacom net has doled out make-goods to the point that it is essentially sold-out through the second quarter and possibly the third, say people familiar with the matter. To free some space, VH1 has discussed the dreaded cash-back option or make-good ads on siblings MTV or TNN. A VH1 spokesman says, "We fully intend to take care of our advertisers."
Dennis Miller was often criticized for obscure musings on "Monday Night Football." But the former ABC exec who hired him, Don Ohlmeyer, counters: "The people who didn't [get them] should probably think about reading a book occasionally." ABC sales exec Ed Erhardt says Miller was "a noble experiment," but calls the new duo of Al Michaels and John Madden a ratings dream team: "Michaels and Madden will be an event."
As We: Women's Entertainment enters its first upfront, it is building a comedy block to air prior to drama "Felicity" (of WB fame). The net nabbed ex-ABC comedy "Two Guys and a Girl" and is searching for a show to complement it. WE seeks a younger female audience than Lifetime; Johnson & Johnson has been the net's sole advertiser.