Programming Briefs

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Cartoon Net Rolls With 'D.I.C.E.’

AtlantaCartoon Network, continuing its relationship with Bandai Entertainment, has acquired the new animated series D.I.C.E. to debut as part of the channel’s “Toonami” action-adventure anime block on Saturday evenings, beginning in January.

A showcase for cutting-edge, computer-generated cell animation, D.I.C.E. — short for DNA Integrated Cybernetic Enterprises — centers on a group of highly trained kids, who rely on “Dinobreakers,” or transforming dinosaur vehicles, when their training and skills aren’t enough, to combat emergencies that occur throughout the Sarbylion Galaxy.

Cartoon has ordered 26 episodes of the show, aimed at boys 6 to 11, from Bandai Entertainment, which has already distributed such shows as Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex to the network.

Bandai Entertainment is a subsidiary of Bandai America Inc., which makes the toys for series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Digimon and Mobile Suit Gundam.

ESPN’s 'College GameDay’ Takes to the Hardwood

Bristol, Conn. — Taking a page from its college-football ancillary programming playbook, ESPN will originate on-campus preview basketball shows in the New Year.

College GameDay, a longtime staple in setting up ESPN’s college-football schedule, will tip off in a hoops mode over an eight-week period, starting on Jan. 22 from Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn., where UConn will meet the University of Pittsburgh that night.

ESPN executives said the basketball edition of GameDay will air three times on Saturday: 11 a.m. to noon.

It will be followed by a quartet of contests; as an 8 to 9 p.m. lead-in to ESPN’s new Saturday primetime game of the week; and as a wrap-up to the day’s action from midnight to 1. a.m., after SportsCenter.

A&E Boards 'Airline’ For a Third Voyage

New YorkAirline will fly on A&E Network’s airwaves for a third season.

Airline, which airs on A&E Mondays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), took off in January. Its second season is currently in production, and work on the third season is set to begin early next year.

The show looks at the real-life highs and lows of passengers who board Southwest Airlines flights at Los Angeles International, Chicago Midway and Baltimore/Washington International airports.

Houston Hobby Airport will join the roster during season No. 3.

Airline has more than earned its wings,” A&E senior vice president of programming Bob DeBitetto said in a prepared statement.

'Identity Theft’ Swipes Big Nielsen Numbers

New York — The premiere of Lifetime Television’s original film Identity Theft: The Michelle Brown Story garnered some 4.1 million viewers in posting a 3.4 household rating on Nov. 1, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The film was Lifetime’s third-highest-rated original movie of the year, trailing Plain Truth (4.3) and Gracie’s Choice (3.8).

Identity Theft — which starred Kimberly Williams-Paisley (According to Jim) and Emmy Award-nominated Annabella Sciorra (The Sopranos) — was based on a true story of Brown’s ordeal to regain her identity after it is stolen by a complete stranger.

INSP Spreads Gospel With New Music Show

Charlotte, N.C.INSP — The Inspiration Network is spreading the gospel—music that is, with original specials and an updated original series.

GMSS NCQ Live (tentative title) will consist of 40 new half-hour installments, featuring performances from the 2003 National Quartet Convention at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky. It will debut in January.

NCQ Live, set to air Nov. 13 at 10 p.m. (EST), features the best of the National Quartet Convention.

And the Singing News Fan Awards will make their TV debut on INSP. This year’s edition of the gospel music-awards show is No. 35.

VH1 Classic Sets Thanksgiving Feast

New York — On “Turkey Day,” VH1 Classic will spend A Very Classic Thanksgiving with its viewers.

The network will air the one-hour special Thursday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. (ET/PT), with a “grown-up table” populated by Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), MC Hammer, Davy Jones (The Monkees), Lisa Lisa (Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam), Eddie Money and Terri Nunn (Berlin).

The celebrities will be “sharing a traditional holiday feast at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York and a high-energy conversation on many topics,” according to the network.

Also on Thanksgiving Day, VH1 Classic will air special video requests and dedications from crew members now stationed on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz.

The network and Snider were invited to come on board, interview the sailors and help them send video dedications and holiday messages back to their families at home.

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