Nets Take Lighthearted Licking


As part of the time-honored tradition of upfront week, TV’s big stars skewer their own networks in well-oiled comedy routines. They typically acknowledge what people in the business are saying, but somehow it’s funnier coming from a standup comic.

Here are some more memorable moments from the upfront circuit last week:  --ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, of Jimmy Kimmel Live, who ribbed the network at last year’s upfront, had some kinder words this time around. “ABC is on a roll,” he said. “Now we have to figure out how to screw it up.”

--Kimmel saved his best jab for the competition: “I told SuperNanny I’d be home by midnight. We have to pack everything and get it over to Fox so they can pitch it as their fall schedule.”

--Comedian Chris Rock, whose childhood in Brooklyn inspired new UPN comedy Everybody Hates Chris, poked fun at the network’s branding. “UPN is ‘where the girls are at and the boys want to be,” he said. “And it is not a strip club.”--Saturday Night Live’s Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, in a special edition of “Weekend Update,” took swipes at NBC and its rivals. “Buy ad time on NBC,” Fey implored advertisers, putting a positive spin on NBC’s fall from first place in the 18-49 demo to fourth. “Out of 100 channels, we’re No. 4, and that’s pretty good!”  --Poehler also played TV critic. “Two and a Half Men—that’s how many people it would take to hold me down to watch it,” she said of CBS’ hit sitcom.