Thursday, November 25, 2004


The premium cable channel HBO has picked up 13 episodes for a series starring Lisa Kudrow as a one-time sitcom star who is trying to revive her career. Kudrow and former 'Sex and the City' executive producer Michael Patrick King co-wrote the pilot script for 'Comeback' and will executive produce the series. In the pilot, directed by King, Kudrow was joined by co-stars Robert Michael Morris, Damian Young, Laura Silverman, Malin Akerman, Robert Bagnell and Lance Barber.
OfficeMax's funky office supply guy, the "Rubberband Man," gets animated in a new holiday commercial from DDB/Chicago. Playing off earlier live-action spots, "Santa's Helper" casts the character in a stop-motion winter wonderland created by Chel White of Portland's Bent Image Lab. In a style reminiscent of holiday specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the RM goes about his business passing out office supplies to all the girls and boys, backed by a remix -- courtesy of Chicago music house Spank! -- of the Spinners classic that inspired the campaign.
The outlandishly unfashionable puffy shirt worn by Jerry Seinfeld on his hit TV show went on display Friday at the Smithsonian, alongside Kermit the Frog, Archie Bunker's chair and Dorothy's magic slippers from "The Wizard of Oz."

At the end of its nine-season run, 'Seinfeld' - the "show about nothing" - left lots of well-loved lines but few tangible relics suitable for enshrinement in the National Museum of American History. Thus, The Puffy Shirt, which appeared briefly in a single episode. What makes that bit of wardrobe so memorable is that it serves as an icon, not only of 'Seinfeld' but American popular culture.

"It looks funny and it sounds funny, and that's a good combination for a joke," Seinfeld told The Washington Post at a donation ceremony Thursday night. Before the puffy shirt episode aired in 1993, Seinfeld said, he had no idea it would become a classic.

In episode No. 66, comedian Jerry nods politely even though he can't make out what his pal Kramer's girlfriend is asking - she's a "low talker." Later to his horror, he learns he's agreed to wear the goofy, puffy shirt she designed when he appears on the "Today" show.

"This might be the first joke inducted into the Smithsonian Institution," Seinfeld noted.
NEW YORK - Look out kids. SpongeBob SquarePants, Barney and Clifford the Big Red Dog are joining forces to rerecord the disco tune "We Are Family" to promote diversity and tolerance in classrooms.

A video starring the three children's characters plus nearly 100 others, including Dora the Explorer and Arthur, will be distributed to 61,000 public and private elementary schools nationwide, along with lesson plans for teachers. It will air simultaneously on Nickelodeon, the Public Broadcasting Service and the Disney Channel in March. "This is an unprecedented event. For the first time characters from all of the important kids shows came together to appear in the same video," said video producer Christopher Cerf. "The producers and performers from each show embraced the spirit and message of this project." The We Are Family Foundation was founded by singer-songwriter Nile Rodgers, who wrote the song recorded in 1979 by Sister Sledge. The nonprofit organization creates and supports programs about diversity and multiculturalism. The video was financed by a grant from the Toni Mendez Shapiro estate. "Cooperation and unity are the most important values we can teach children. We believe that this is the essential first step to loving thy neighbor," Rodgers said.
Tony-winning actor Rene Auberjonois has been bumped up from guest star to series regular status on ABC's freshman legal drama ``Boston Legal.'' Auberjonois has made several appearances on the David E. Kelley-produced series as one of the partners in the criminal defense firm run by Denny Crane, played by William Shatner.
Pope John Paul II has told an actor who is portraying him in a television drama about his life that he is "crazy". Polish actor Piotr Adamczyk had an audience with the 84-year-old Pontiff when he made the admission. "You're crazy to make a film about me. What did I ever do?" he said. The actor admitted to being lost for words when he met the pontiff. The new two-part film is being made especially for Italian television.

"I felt like a seven-year-old child", said Adamczyk, recalling the time when he first saw the Pope on an early visit to his Polish homeland. "When I learned that the Pope would receive me I was very moved, but at the same time worried, what would I have to say to him?" said the actor. The film, Karol Wojtyla: The Story Of A Man Who Became Pope, will be shown in two parts on Italian TV next year. The 10m Euro (£7m) project has been largely financed Mediaset, a company owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The film begins in Poland with the Pope as a 10-year-old boy, and culminates with his election in 1978.
Plans to create a US soap based on the BBC's EastEnders have reportedly been drawn up by the Fox TV network. EastEnders' head writer Tony Jordan and music mogul Simon Fuller are involved in the project, according to reports in the Hollywood Reporter trade newspaper. It said scripts have been commissioned for a series about a community of working class people in of Chicago.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The original Mr. Wendy is back.
Pictures of Wendy's founder Dave Thomas, who died of liver cancer in January 2002, will be featured in a series of ads celebrating the fast-food chain's 35th anniversary, company officials told The Associated Press.

The first television and print ads will be out Friday and more TV spots will air for a month beginning Monday, said Bob Bertini, spokesman for Wendy's International Inc. The ads will reference Thomas' business philosophies such as "Just be nice" and "Don't cut corners."

Thomas pitched Wendy's hamburgers, fries and other fare in more than 800 TV ads over 12 years, emphasizing the quality of the chain's offerings with a folksy, straightforward delivery. After his death, the company switched to a campaign that focused on the quaint appeal of Thomas and Dublin, the upscale Columbus suburb where Wendy's is based. More recently, the company's ads featured Mr. Wendy, an "unofficial" spokesman who often embarrassed his wife by promoting the Wendy's menu everywhere he went.

The humor-based campaign, which the company will abandon, distracted from Wendy's emphasis on the quality of its food, said Rao Unnava, a marketing professor at Ohio State University.
Here's a news item from months ago......

Tuesday, August 31, 2004
On September 14, Spike TV and Ol’ Dirty Bastard will premiere a new reality series called “Stuck To ODB,” where a normal individual must stay within 10 feet of the rapper for five full days. Should he achive the daunting task, he will win $25,000. After the first showing, it will be seen on Tuesdays at 10:00 PM (ET) and 11:00 PM (PT).


That was then. This is now......

Ol' Dirty Bastard's manager announced that there are still plans to press on with the release the late rapper's reality TV show, 'Stuck To ODB'. In the show, contenders were offered a cash prize of $25,000 if they could stay within three metres (10 feet) of O.D.B for five full days. A date for the show's debut has yet to be announced.

The eccentric rapper who would have turned 36 on November 15th, shocked fans, friends and family when he died suddenly at a recording studio in New York on November 13th.

So why wasn't the show broadcast as originally planned? It's not like they had some psychic premonition that he would die.... did they?

Why do I get this Chayevskeyesque "Network" vibe from the whole deal?

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