Nets Put Positive Spin On Broadcast Defections


Comedy Central and Nickelodeon hope to maintain working relationships with two stars that are going to have broadcast-network vehicles next year.

Comedy said it will continue to work on projects with The Man Show
star Jimmy Kimmel after he moves to ABC next season, while Nickelodeon hopes to occasionally bring back star Amanda Bynes to other teen-oriented Nick shows, after she debuts in a sitcom on The WB.

Representatives from both cable networks said they expect to see a ratings benefit for each stars' respective shows due to added broadcast exposure.

Comedy is currently taping episodes for the fourth season of The Man Show
— co-hosted by Kimmel and Adam Carolla — but the series's future beyond that is uncertain, said network executives. Broadcast network ABC announced last week that Kimmel will appear next season in a new late-night series.

"A decision to proceed after the fourth season has not been made," network vice president of corporate communications Steve Albani said.

He said Comedy would air approximately half of the 20 new The Man Show
episodes beginning in August, with the rest premiering sometime in first-quarter 2003.

Even if The Man Show
is cancelled, the network will maintain a relationship with Kimmel through other Comedy projects. Kimmel's production company, Jackhole Productions, is producing Crank Yankers.

Albani believes that the promotion and marketing for Kimmel's upcoming ABC series will help build awareness for both The Man Show
and Crank Yankers.
Nickelodeon executives also believe that Bynes' new The WB comedy series, What I Like About You, will help increase ratings for her Nick program, The Amanda Show
. Byres starred in the series from 1999 through 2001, although Nickelodeon has yet to air several shows from last season and will continue to air reruns throughout the year.

"We get the benefit of keeping her [through reruns of the show] and watching her go onto a another channel and, hopefully, become a big star," Nick executive vice president Kevin Kay said.

Kay also left the door open for her to appear in other Nick vehicles. Bynes, an alumnus, returned to guest-host an episode of Nick's tween-targeted All That
show last year.