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Fox to revive health net as WebMD

Site to continue original programming

NEW YORK — Fox’s Health Network will re-launch as WebMD Television this fall, the net announced at the National Cable TV Assn. convention.

Former ABC TV prexy Patricia Fili-Krushel, who joined WebMD as prexy/CEO in April, will guide the transition.

“WebMD is a trusted and valuable brand to the Internet community,” Fili-Krushel said. “Our goal is to extend the reach of WebMD’s brand and translate those strengths to our television network.” The Health Network is available in 17.5 million homes via cable and satellite.

WebMD TV plans to continue to produce 85%-90% original programming, according to Fili-Krushel. Details of the programming have yet to be announced.

MTV2, TBS, IFC

Other announcements unveiled Monday at NCTA:

  • MTV2, the 24-hour musicvideo cable net, plans to premiere its first interactive music show this fall. “Control Freak” will give viewers the chance to choose the next musicvideo to air in real time. Viewers can vote through their set-top box or via the Web at mtv2.mtv.com.

    MTV2 recently launched a number of music-based shows, including “Artist Collection,” a weekly show featuring a collection of videos from a specific artist; “MTV2 James,” a daily show featuring the newest in hip-hop and R&B; and “MTV2 Return of the Rock,” which will showcase the best new rock musicvideos.

  • TBS Superstation has added three titles to its slate of original movies in development, including a medical thriller from bestselling author Robin Cook, a disaster pic and an apocalyptic thriller.

    Frank von Zerneck and Robert Sertner are producing “Robin Cook’s Acceptable Risk,” which concerns a medical researcher who experiments with a mood-altering mold. Stanley M. Brooks’ Once Upon a Time Films will produce “Atomic Twister,” a telepic about a storm of twisters that threatens a meltdown at a small-town nuclear power plant. “Superstorm” — about a global storm that threatens to wipe out the Northern Hemisphere — comes to TBS from Stephanie Germain Prods. in association with Lions Gate Television.

  • The Independent Film Channel has acquired eight feature titles from Artisan Entertainment. Pics will premiere on IFC beginning in 2001 and will continue to air on the net through 2004. Titles include “Buena Vista Social Club,” “The Limey,” “Felicia’s Journey,” “Trees Lounge,” “Permanent Midnight” and “Pi.”

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