Is Cartoon Network trying to lessen the so-called digitaldivide for Latino Webheads? Earlier this month, Cartoon parent Turner BroadcastingSystem Inc. registered two Web sites, mundotoon.com and mundotoon.org, whichtranslate to Toon World. Although there was talk last year that Cartoon was thinking aboutlaunching a domestic Spanish-language version of the channel, a network spokesman saidlast week that "there are no plans now" to do so. But Turner's CartoonNetwork Latin America unit registered those sites for possible use down the road, henoted.
As a way to plug its "31 Days of Oscar"programming tie-in to next month's Academy Awards, Turner Classic Movies sent thepress a poster containing its schedule of 360 Oscar winners and a "Can You Makethe Connection?" quiz, sort of like "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." Inthe poster, co-stars of one of five featured movies are shown only in silhouette, alongwith the query, "Can you guess the movie?" Actually, eagle-eyed reporters shouldhave noticed by now that the answer is in TCM's own "31 Days of Oscar"trade ads -- namely, Barefoot in the Park with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Theprize: a video of one of the five films shown in the poster.
Another hitherto unsolved mystery is who is themysterious "Inquizitor" on Game Show Network's eerie Inquizitionseries, which is set in a deserted airplane hangar. Hint: It's not Regis Philbin. TheWire has learned that he's Casey Kasem, famous for his top-40 countdown shows onradio and VH1 and for his commercial voice-overs.
Last issue, The Wire told you about a toy companythat's introducing classic Saturday Night Live characters in acollectible-dolls line. The No. 1 toy-maker, Mattel Inc., is also banking on oldies butgoodies for its "Matchbox Collectibles Character Cars." That new linewill feature the Fonz from Happy Days and Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie, acouple of classic sitcom staples on Nick at Nite and TV Land.
EchoStar Communications Corp. chairman Charlie Ergen wasalso in a nostalgic mood during last week's annual Team Summit with satellite dealersin Denver. He greeted the dealers' standing ovation with a quip that he wasn'trunning for political office because "the skeletons would kill me." Oneskeleton, he volunteered, dates from his company's cash-strapped early days, when hesigned up for food stamps. (Now, he's planning to take his family on a Kenyansafari.) Harking back to EchoStar's failed merger with News Corp. several years ago,he asked, "Who can forget our marriage to News Corp., which ended up like the WhoWants to Marry a Multimillionaire show?"
Viewers in Hawaii, upon seeing some graphic sexual activityon The Weather Channel earlier this month, could be forgiven for thinking that thenetwork had succumbed to "sweeps" ratings-period stunting. But the realexplanation turns out to be more mundane. A 15-minute segment from an adult pay-per-viewchannel appeared on TWC's channel 37 because of a rewiring snafu, according toHawaiian CableVision of Hilo.
Football season's over, but a pigskin-related JeepCherokee commercial from DaimlerChrysler is still running. The spot shows a novel wayfor a DBS-dish owner to eliminate snow on his TV screen so he can follow the gridironaction. To adjust the dish, this homeowner simply hops into his Jeep and drives up asnowbank and onto his rooftop. The narrator says the Cherokee "can go where noordinary four-by-four can" -- but a copy line at the bottom of the TV spot cautions,"Do not try this at home." Ya think?
By Jim Forkan, from bureau reports.