TelevisionWeek's Blink page is an industry must-read, taking a sardonic look at happenings across the television business. This wry coverage is extended online and updated throughout the week.



Emmy Winner Sparks Relief Effort

September 26, 2005 12:00 AM

Patricia Arquette, who won an Emmy last week for her starring role in NBC's "Medium," has been using her celebrity to rally support for Relief Spark, an effort to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina. She calls the government response to the disaster "frustrating and heartbreaking." Her efforts include rounding up support from television executives and fellow stars to provide assistance and donate supplies. "It's wartime!" she told Blink. "And everybody needs to cinch their belts and give what they can." Based at the Van Nuys, Calif., airport, Relief Spark volunteers have been sending truckloads of tools, food and rebuilding supplies to Mississippi and Louisiana and making sure everything gets delivered to the people who need it most. "These people lost everything. They need things like pet supplies and cleaning supplies-bureaucracy-free," Ms. Arquette said. TV show "CSI" donated diapers; "Alias" and "Lost" productions sent clothes. Do-it-yourself diva Barbara K donated $50,000 worth of her line of tools. And "Blow Out" star Jonathan Antin sent 1,000 bottles of his Jonathan Product shampoo and conditioner. "You can buy food in bulk or buy 10 brooms at the 99 Cent Store for 64 cents each," Ms. Arquette said. "If you give it to us, as soon as we get it, we'll send it." -NATALIE VERDUGO

Air Kisses for Everybody

Syndicated entertainment newsmagazines, which battle ferociously for viewers, scoops and media attention, are rarely shy about throwing barbs at competitors, especially after one rival raids another for talent. However, that wasn't the case on the red carpet at the Emmys. Former "Entertainment Tonight" correspondent Maria Menounos was doing interviews for her new employers at "Access Hollywood" and "Today" in a booth catty-corner from the stand for "ET" spinoff "The Insider." It was there that Blink spotted a dramatic and unusual display of camaraderie that made us, well, blink. "The Insider's" Lara Spencer started it off. She threw a verbal bouquet of compliments to Ms. Menounos, including: "Keep up the great work, Maria!" Ms. Menounos returned the niceties, and then "Insider's" Pat O'Brien dove through the crowd, across the red carpet to embrace Ms. Menounos over a velvet rope. "When I see my former colleagues, many of which I love and miss," Ms. Menounos said later, "it's always wonderful." -MELISSA GREGO

Brain Trust

Now here's an odd couple: Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and CBS's Charles Osgood. Both have signed on as spokesmen for brainSpeed, a nutritional supplement touted for its ability to boost memory, attention span and mental agility. The public company behind it, Natrol, is promoting the supplement as exercise for the brain. Mr. O'Reilly will voice the ad spots during his two-hour syndicated daily Westwood One radio show, "The Radio Factor," while Mr. Osgood will do the same on his daily Westwood One radio show, "The Osgood File." Mr. Osgood said in a statement that as a journalist he is intrigued by new ideas on the processing of information. Paul Gregrey, Westwood One's executive VP of sales and marketing, said all of the company's radio personalities have the right to refuse to do an ad if they don't support the product. He said Mr. O'Reilly, with his do-what-I-say intensity, was a perfect fit. "He's a forceful personality, [and with Mr. Osgood] they're getting the best of both worlds," Mr. Gregrey said. "Bill is a little bombastic and Charlie is a bit softer." -NATALIE FINN