In the Loop - Broadcasting & Cable

What's in a Whack?

The Sopranos' Joe Pantoliano—by the time you read this, he will be The Handler's Joe Pantoliano—explained to B&C at the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards the finer points of getting whacked, or not, as the case may be. He said his character, Ralphie Cifaretto, didn't actually get "whacked. A whacking is an official, mob-sanctioned hit. I was killed in cold blood," he grinned, while hoisting his newly won Emmy backstage at the awards gala. (Only in TV Land could one write " 'I was killed in cold blood,' he grinned.") His new gig, The Handler, airs Friday at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.—P.A.

The Color of Money

It may look like funny money, but that new green, peach and blue $20 bill is the real deal, and sources say the U.S. Treasury is spending an estimated $10 million on Disney media properties over two weeks in early October to get the word out. Outlets included in the deal are the ABC broadcast network (prime time, daytime, news and sports), ABC Family, ESPN, Buena Vista Television syndicated shows, A&E and History Channel. In addition to spots, there are several product-integration elements, sort of. Meredith Vieira (left) will talk up the new bill on
The View and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. Live With Regis and Kelly
will do a "Host Chat" segment on it. The campaign kicks off Oct. 9, the day the new bill is released to the public. ABC Unlimited and MediaEdge:cia negotiated the deal.
—S.M.

TV's Next Generation

You heard all about him from his mom, Kathy Lee, when she reigned on Regis and Kathy Lee. Now you can see him for yourself. Cody Gifford was scheduled to make his syndication debut last Saturday as a member of Eyewitness Kids News, a joint project of Weekly Reader and Al Primo. Naturally, 13-year-old Cody (above, far left) handles sports. The girl third from the right might also look familiar. She is Haley Cohen, 14, daughter of CNN anchor Paula Zahn. Here's the whole crew (l-r): Gifford, Lily Wen, Natalie Distler, Mwaanza Brown, Cohen, Felipe Dieppa, and Madeline Rogan. The show is cleared in more than 171 markets.—H.A.J.

Coupling on Bravo

If you missed Coupling
on NBC, don't fret, Bravo is offering viewers a second chance. In its latest repurposing move, the NBC-owned cable channel will replay the sitcom's premiere on Sept. 30 and episode two on Oct. 7, both at 11 p.m. ET. No other episodes have been scheduled yet.

Since NBC acquired Bravo for $1.25 billion last December, the channel has replayed NBC's Kingpin, The Restaurant and Fame,
but Coupling is the first sitcom to be repurposed. NBC and Bravo have been quiet about the Coupling replays. B&C found the scheduled plays while surfing through TiVo's listings.

Coupling lives elsewhere on cable, too. BBC America plays the original British version, including 10 p.m. Thursday, right after the NBC show. BBC America is looking to piggyback (or is that peacockback?) on NBC's hype. "You've heard the buzz, now see the original," says the BBC America Web site.—A.R.

Nader's notions

Essential Information, a group founded by activist Ralph Nader, last week managed to halt license renewals of 63 Clear Channel radio stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. The group filed a last-minute "informal objection" that forced commission staff to remove the Clear Channel licenses from a block of more than 400 renewals that were approved en masse.

The complaint alleges that Clear Channel should lose the stations because it misled listeners about rules for radio contests, broadcast telephone conversations without permission of the second parties, broadcast obscene and indecent material in violation of rules, and committed other transgressions.

Listeners and competitors were required to file formal petitions to deny renewals in the states Sept. 2, but informal objections from any other party could be filed up to the moment of approval.—B.M.

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