Don't look for UPN to run clips of Buffy The Vampire Slayer's
fifth season this summer. The WB, which is airing repeats this summer but losing the show to UPN this fall, isn't letting UPN get its hands on episodes of the just-completed season until WB's contract is up in September. Sources say, and logic dictates, that that means UPN won't be showing those 2000-2001 episodes to TV critics at the tour in L.A. next month.
Anchor Lynne Russell, who retired from CNN Headline News about the same time former NYPD Blue
actress Andrea Thompson signed on, will return to the small screen—as an actress. Her co-star in the Canada-based made-for-cable series, The Ride,
is former Homicide
top cop Yaphet Kotto. Russell, in real life a black-belt martial artist and private detective, may play an abused woman—"Imagine that. How many people could I deck on that set?"—or a character closer to her own persona. Kotto, whom she knows through her annual emceeing of the Top Cops Awards, brought her to the project. "I know I can act," she insists. "I was married twice."
"It's amazing. We said 'shit,' like, 150 times. You expect some reaction," said South Park co-creator Matt Stone. But there was no outrage toward Stone and partner Trey Parker about the first episode of Comedy Central's summer season, in which characters spoke the word 162 times (a little counter kept track). The plot line concerned an NYPD Blue-like show that was going to use the word for the first time on network TV. Meanwhile, the cartoon characters are saying it every other sentence. Comedy Central got four e-mails, all positive. Otherwise, the debut was oddly quiet. The duo didn't finish adding sound; some effects, like gunshots, were missing.
Marketing to kids on cable TV seems like it could be a touchy subject in the Beales household. Char is the head of CTAM, the cable industry's marketing association. Husband Howard now heads the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Protection Bureau, which is conducting the follow-up report on the practices of entertainment industries, including cable, marketing to kids. Char Beales says it won't be an issue. CTAM, she says, focuses on meat-and-potato business issues, such as how cable companies can improve customer service or add new technologies, leaving public policy debates to NCTA. "We [NCTA and CTAM] divided that line a long time ago," she says.
Since he's unemployed, Leo Hindery has decided to curl up with a good book: his own. The ex-AT&T Broadband CEO is collaborating with Wall Street Journal
cable/telcom reporter Leslie Cauley to write about the art of the mega-deal. It will draw on Hindery's deal-making in the late 1990s at the behest of cable titan John Malone. Simon & Schuster's Free Press division will put it out next year. "It started off as sort of 10 deals, 10 lessons," Hindery said. "That sounded too pedantic." One thing it won't be is gossipy. "It's not salacious; It's much more of an academic thing." Cauley is taking a six-month leave of absence to work on the book.
distributor Pearson Television is developing a reunion TV movie. It's unclear if original stars Pamela Lee Anderson and David Hasselhoff will be there. Sources say ex-Survivor
Jerry Manthey auditioned for a bitch-type character who attempts to keep original Baywatch
characters from returning to their beach home.