No, Latrell, Not Court TV

10/17/1999 8:00 PM Eastern

The National Basketball Association is proving that it's
got game in television production.

On the heels of its plans to develop a 24-hour cable pay-per-view and direct-broadcast
satellite channel, the league is now in discussions with Columbia/TriStar to develop a
sitcom for either broadcast or cable distribution.

No details yet as to the plot of the show, but it's a slam-dunk bet that there will be a
lot of hoops action involved, with many of the league's players making cameo appearances.

It's fall, and people (especially idle Dodgers fans) are
engaging in the season's favorite pastime: whining about the Western Show.

Folks may be carping privately about the Los Angeles location and the proximity to
Christmas, but people are signing up in droves.

Last Friday was the low-cost registration deadline, and "they're burning up the fax
machine here," said C.J. Hirshfield, vice president of industry affairs at the
California Cable Television Association. T

The Web site for the show is also getting plenty of hits,
she added. "One other time, we had the show about this late, and there was no
drop-off in registration," she said.

CableNET has attracted more vendors (60) than ever, panels have a full complement of top
speakers and there will be two "really big parties," she added. And take it from
The Wire: You wouldn't want to be in Anaheim this year unless you travel with a particle
mask and a hard hat.

September's annual Diversity Week (Hell Week to us cable
veterans) will be extended by a week for some cable execs next year due to the
rescheduling of the Atlantic Show.

The regional show, usually held in October, will run from Sept. 12 through 14, 2000, in
Baltimore, one week before Diversity Week and the Walter Kaitz Foundation Dinner.

The Wire, however, doesn't believe the two events will conflict with each other. There's
not a lot of crossover in Atlantic Show attendees and Kaitz Foundation diners.

A nonprofit, environmental-conservation organization is in
position to do something that Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling has not been able
to do: body slam the World Wrestling Federation.

According to the WWF's recent S-1/A filing, the World Wide Fund for Nature recently
notified the WWF that it has violated a long-standing agreement regarding the use of the
WWF acronym -- one shared by both organizations.

The agreement limits the wrestling organization on the acronym's appearance -- for
example, the wrestling organization can't print the WWF initials in Times Roman typeface
outside of its magazine.

The WWF reports that it is "currently reviewing the allegations," and it goes on
to say, "Any determination further limiting our use of those initials could have a
material adverse effect on our brand recognition and our ability to compete."

We all know that the predominantly African-American hip-hop
culture has been having a major impact on the music and fashion tastes of young whites. So
just who are these trendsetters anyway? Project director Hal Quinley at Yankelovich
Partners says its latest African-American Monitor research study shows that the principal
drivers who constitute "cutting-edge/early adopter" types represent about 15
percent of the black population. And they tend to dominate two age groups -- 38 percent of
those aged 35 to 49 and 30 percent of those 16 to 24. They are mostly single (49 percent),
male (56 percent) and mainly located in the Northeast.

By R. Thomas Umstead, from bureau reports.

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