In the Loop

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Cajoling Cojocaru

Paramount Domestic Television has enlisted talent from no fewer than three of its shows to promote the arrival of style maven Steven Cojocaru as an Entertainment Tonight correspondent. The promos will run during ET, ET on MTV, ET on VH-1 and ET Weekend starting Aug. 18, with eight separate spots airing until Cojocaru appears on his first show Aug. 27. According to the plot line, ET anchors Jann Carl, Mark Steines and Maria Menounos each try to coax Cojocaru from his dressing room to appear on the entertainment newsmagazine. Their pleas fall on deaf ears and Cocojaru remains holed up, attended by hairdressers, stylists and make-up artists. Finally, Paramount sends Judge Judy and Dr. Phil to take a crack at persuading him to appear. Paramount won't say who succeeds, but our money is on the doctor.—P.A

Of Franken, Fox And Phrases

By now everybody must know Fox News Channel has filed a complaint against Al Franken in the New York State Supreme Court concerning the phrase "fair and balanced." The network has a trademark on the phrase and believes the use of it in the title of Al Franken's new book, Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, will "blur and tarnish" it.

But wait; there's more. Fox also has a trademark on the phrase "Bulls & Bears," the title of a Saturday business news show. It's also a phrase dropped daily on Wall Street and in the titles of many books including one we liked, Don't Be a Bozo Dealing With the Bulls and the Bears. Other Fox News trademarks include "Fair. Balanced. Unafraid." and, of course, "We Report. You Decide."—J.E.

Hawk Like an Egyptian

Discovery Channel reportedly took to the streets in New York, Los Angeles and Washington last week to promote its Nefertiti Resurrected special, which was scheduled to air Aug. 17. In Washington, noontime strollers were greeted by the sight of shirtless "slaves" bearing Nefertiti (actually shirtless temporary employees of a promotion company bearing a regally attired temporary hire), preceded by maidens handing out Nefertiti masks with day-and-date information and show descriptions on the back. "Nefertiti's mummy had malicious blows to the mouth and one arm torn off," read some of the upbeat promo copy. Verisimilitude did not extend that far. The faux queen appeared to have all her appendages and an appropriately engaging smile.—J.E.

Closed-Circuit ABC

While ABC was broadcasting nationally out of D.C. and New York during the blackout last Thursday, it was also doing some in-house broadcasting in New York. The network formed a crisis committee after 9/11 that convened immediately. Speaking from a "too dark to dial" office, committee member Julie Hoover said that, without inter-office e-mail, ABC broadcast messages via loudspeaker, installed in case of fire, to keep New York staffers informed about the latest news. Those included top stories, like the fact that terrorism wasn't suspected, and "news you can use," i.e. cafeteria hours had been extended.—J.E.

What Are You Talkin' About?

It looks like Gary Coleman's career could prove problematic for broadcasters now that the former Diff'rent Strokes co-star has put his oar in the water for the California governorship. Any Coleman appearance outside a news broadcast would give any of the other candidates the right to demand free time equal to Coleman's. KTVU(TV) San Francisco's program director checked and found Gary Coleman appearances on the following programs: Cheers, The Wayans Brothers, Married With Children, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Parent Hood and the Jamie Foxx Show.

What about Diff'rent Strokes, where Coleman played Arnold Jackson for six years on both NBC and ABC? Nickelodeon has the rights, but it isn't running it, and wouldn't have to worry anyway since the free time rule effectively excludes cable.—J.E., D.T.

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