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Getting the Message and Making the Call

October 17, 2005 12:00 AM

It was the telephone number heard round the "Supernatural" world. A voice-mail message heard at the end of the Oct. 4 episode by the hunky haint-hunting Winchester brothers (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) included an 866 number that fans quickly began dialing. Upon making the call, more than 25,000 callers heard Mr. Ackles' voice saying: "This is Dean Winchester. If this is an emergency, leave a message. If you're calling me about 11-2-83, please page me with your coordinates." As visitors to the "Supernatural" Web site now know, not only are the numbers the date on which the brothers' mother died in a paranormal fire and the combination that unlocks an interactive element on The WB freshman series' Web page, they also are a coded message to the boys' mysteriously missing father. Eric Kripke, writer and one of three executive producers of "Supernatural," promises more such "Easter eggs" because "the message board response to the phone number was overwhelming." In the meantime, fans who were brave enough to leave a message shouldn't wait by their phones for a return call from Dean Winchester. "We wouldn't be able to shoot [Mr. Ackles] for four weeks if he had to call everybody back," Mr. Kripke said. -Michele Greppi



Katrina Spawns Programming

Hurricane Katrina continues to be a Category 5 programming topic for cable networks, with another documentary special forming off the coastline of TLC. The "life unscripted" network has commissioned "Katrina's Children: Lost in the Storm" from NBC News Productions, which also produced "BTK: The Killer Next Door?" for the channel. The one-hour program follows 9-year-old storm evacuee Charles Evans, who made appearances on "Today" and the Emmys, as well as other children relocated due to the storm. -James Hibberd



SoapNet Spices Things Up

To get ad sales simmering, SoapNet is inviting media buyers to a series of cooking lessons in New York this week and next month.

To ensure the flavor of the pitch stays strong, the network will provide racks of spices, with a label on each vial that offers a taste of daytime drama.

One vial is marked "Bay leaves and she's not coming back." Another vial is "Sinnamon." A third is marked "Whoregano." Apparently the network ran out of jokes, labeling its sixth vial "Paprika: the unfunny spice." -Jon Lafayette