The Adventures of Heidi (Klum)
The Travel Channel's quest to inject more "personality" into its programs has led the network to supermodel Heidi Klum. She is working on a show that will take viewers to exotic locales for off-the-beaten-track adventures. Discovery Networks President Billy Campbell says they will be the sorts of things "regular people" can do if they go looking for adventure. This would be Klum's second Discovery project. She will also host a night of Discovery Channel's Shark Week in August.—A.R.
Game Show Cram-med With Plugs
The Game Show Network is featuring goodies from Sarah Lee and Radio Shack on original game Cram. A new 10-episode deal with Radio Shack will have contestants—who stay up all night cramming for the next day's trivia competition—using wireless headphones, high-tech binoculars and recording picture frames. Cram
host Graham Elwood and co-host Icey (right) will also play with ZapZip minicars before and after commercial breaks.
Sarah Lee's new microwavable sandwiches will be given out as rewards to hungry contestants who answer questions correctly (the microwave will double as a timer).
Radio Shack is a first-time Game Show advertiser, and this is Sarah Lee's first product-placement play. The key to placement, says Game Show ad sales chief Michael Sakin, is "using product in the game play" so viewers aren't overwhelmed.—A.R.
At B&C, we have the tendency to watch TV attentively. Perhaps too attentively. For example, somehow a staffer noticed Charles Gibson's propensity to use the expression "I'll be darned." In fact, our research indicates that the Good Morning America co-anchor has uttered the phrase 47 times since Aug. 29, 1996. Assuming that Gibson has been on GMA for approximately 3,500 hours since then, this may not seem to be a big deal. However, Today's Matt Lauer has never darned since he started anchoring in January 1997, and Harry Smith has been darn-less in nine years on CBS This Morning and The Early Show. Even Diane Sawyer, Gibson's co-anchor, has darned only once. We'll be darned.—H.S.
Linked by Adam's Legacy
Memphis, Tenn., anchor Steve Dawson was scheduled to introduce America's Most Wanted's John Walsh (pictured) at a Tunica, Miss., casino's speaker series over the weekend. Dawson hosts a local version of the show, WHBQ-TV's Mid-South's Most Wanted, but his connection to Walsh extends back to the tragedy that redefined Walsh's life.
"I broke the story of Adam Walsh's kidnapping" as a reporter at WSVN(TV) Miami, Dawson recalls. "I got a tip from a viewer that there was a big search going on for a little boy." At the Walsh home, he met Adam's parents. While Rive Walsh was unable to talk about it, John Walsh was anxious to tell his story. "This was back in 1981, when people didn't want to do interviews when they were looking for their kid. But he understood the power of the press." Adam Walsh was not saved, but AMW and Dawson's show have combined for nearly a thousand captures.—D.T.
Viacom-Plus, the media company's integrated marketing unit, has picked up a quick chunk of change, quietly renewing (for a third year) packaged-goods company Procter & Gamble's cross-platform ad deal. In the two previous years, P&G spent about $300 million per year, and it's believed the new deal calls for a similar number. Under the pact, P&G commercials will appear on CBS, UPN and a bunch of Viacom-owned cable nets, including MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and TV Land, as well as in syndicated shows distributed by King World and Paramount. P&G confirmed that the deal has been renewed for the 2003-04 season but would not provide details.—S.M.