Turner Classic Movies unveils its latest affiliate giveaway
this week at Cable '99 -- a chance to win actor Tony Curtis for a day.
Only one lucky cable operator--and one TCM viewer--will win
a day with the Hollywood legend, but others will have a chance to meet Curtis at the TCM
booth today (June 14) from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The classic-film network has worked with Curtis on the
promotion for about six months, but the idea behind it dates back a few decades to the
actor's earliest days in Hollywood.
While filming a Private Screenings episode for TCM
earlier this year, Curtis revealed that he had participated in a "Win Tony Curtis for
a Day" contest for his studio in the early 1950s.
The woman who won the contest was less than enthralled by
the visit from her handsome companion. She finally told Curtis the real reason she'd
entered the contest was for the second prize -- a refrigerator. Good sport that he was,
Curtis sent her the appliance.
In keeping with the spirit of the earlier promotion, TCM
will also award a refrigerator as the second prize in its consumer promotion.
The network plans to run on-air spots to promote the
contest, showing Curtis carpooling, dropping off the kids at school and maybe even going
bowling, TCM vice president of marketing Katherine Evans said.
TCM will customize Curtis' visit according to the needs of
the winning cable system, Evans said. Curtis might address a charitable organization that
the operator is involved with or conduct radio and television interviews on the
affiliate's behalf. In the evening, he may host an event for the affiliate's best
Private Screenings host Robert Osborne will also be on
hand at the winning system's evening event to interview Curtis before opening the floor to
questions from the audience.
TCM is expected to award the prizes in November. Evans said
she is pleased to work with a star who has volunteered to go virtually anywhere in the
U.S. for the contest.
"He's a very willing partner," Evans said,
adding, "he's kind of a ham."