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With Anne Becker, John Eggerton and Joel Topcik

CW Marketers Serve Up Demon Drink

The CW is taking “buzz marketing” literally when it comes to its new show Reaper. The network has created a custom drink recipe for the series about a kid who becomes the devil’s bounty hunter when he turns 21.

Beginning Sept. 3 and running through the month (the show premieres Sept. 25 at 9 p.m.), two bars in each of the top 10 markets will get a Reaper drink recipe, related promo goods, and a CW-dispatched rep to coordinate the promotion. In New York, L.A. and Chicago, 25 bars will run 30-second Reaper spots on their digital TVs approximately 12 times an hour.

So what’s a young adult-targeting network doing pushing alcohol? “We’re trying to stand out in an incredibly crowded marketplace with unique stimulation to the viewer,” says CW Executive VP, Marketing/Brand Strategy, Rick Haskins. Perhaps to head off pesky Parents Television Council criticism, the network is supplying the recipe only, not the alcohol. It’s also offering a non-alcoholic version, and instructing reps to limit the alcohol variety to one per customer. “We’re being very judicious,” Haskins says.

The CW provided a recipe for the The Reaper (a.k.a. Big Red), which you can find at broadcastingcable.com. B&C staffers have yet to test the blood-hued mixture of sloe gin, bitters and sweet and dry vermouth, but be assured we will do so responsibly.

TV No-Show

Two weeks ago, the Library of Congress handed out $2.15 million as part of an on-going effort to archive the growing body of so-called “born digital” works.

Money went to projects in areas including film, still photos, video games, even comics (Doonesbury was among the strips used to test a proposed digitizing system). But alas, no traces of commercial television.

According to a Library spokesman, no commercial programmer proposed working to help preserve any of its original digital content. “We did not receive a proposal from any TV entity,” says spokesman Guy Lamolinara, who was surprised by the no-shows. “We really wanted some TV people and are still hoping to get some.”

Indeed, there is likely some time, and more money, to be had. There are currently proposals before Congress for as much as another $7.5 million to budget out. Lamolinara adds that noncommercial WNET New York does have a digital conservation effort with the library that began in the early 1990’s, but that is specifically to “preserve public television programs produced in digital formats.”

Still no word from the Left Coast, however, says Lamolinara, despite an April 2006 meeting with some 50 organizations out in Hollywood to drum up interest. The meeting included at least two representatives from the TV industry, though Lamolinara could not peg which ones.

Stephen Says

In the latest installment of the protracted legal clinch between Viacom and the Google-owned YouTube over copyright infringement, Google requested last week that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert be among the 32 people deposed as part of Viacom’s $1-billion lawsuit.

Predictably, Stewart and Colbert riffed on the news last Thursday on their respective shows, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, on Viacom’s Comedy Central.

“Hey, Jon. Ready to be deposed in this whole Viacom/YouTube lawsuit?” says Colbert, before subjecting Stewart to a mock deposition about marijuana use and concluding, “We should put this on YouTube!”

Sure enough, the people have obliged. A YouTuber with the handle “DMCAisCRAP” (as in Digital Millennium Copyright Act) posted the clip straightaway, with a preamble stating that, since Stewart and Colbert discuss the suit, the clip is “fair game.” The same user has posted other Daily Show clips—including a classic explanation of the lawsuit itself by “youth correspondent” Dmitri Martin—reasoning that adding commentary to the clips constitutes fair use.

According to a Viacom spokesman, who declined to comment on the unflagging pace at which the company’s content continues to appear on the video-sharing site, Google’s planned depositions likely wouldn’t begin until March 2008. Should the case go to trial, we’re looking at March 2009. We expect to see a few more postings before then.

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