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A Producer for the Long Run

November 14, 2005 12:00 AM

This year, producer Rob Hyland will be in NBC's coverage of the Ironman Triathlon instead of behind the scenes. Mr. Hyland, a former Williams College football player, competed in the event in October. He said the Ironman telecast he saw 10 years ago was the reason he went into television. "I was planning on being an orthopedic surgeon, but I saw the 1995 Ironman on television and I was pretty amazed by it." Impressed by the way producers squeezed a 17-hour race into a two-hour program, he got a television internship that summer and stayed in the business. Mr. Hyland, a creative producer for NBC Sports, had run marathons and triathlons but never an Ironman. He finished the race in 10 hours and 54 minutes and was to appear briefly in the coverage that was scheduled to air Nov. 13. "I've covered the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Olympics, and to me the actual Ironman race day is one of the greatest days in all of sports, just being out there covering it. But actually getting to compete in it was 10 times better than I thought it would be," he said. Don't expect the 30-year-old to slow down yet: Next up, the Philadelphia Marathon on Nov. 20. -JON LAFAYETTE



Sony Is Way Into Greg

Relationships are hard. For writer and stand-up comedian Greg Behrendt, relationships are a ticket to success. Once a struggling rock star wannabe, Mr. Behrendt, a former "Sex and the City" writer, has made a name for himself as the author of the 2004 best-selling advice book "He's Just Not That Into You." This year, aside from writing a feature screenplay based on his book for Drew Barrymore's Flower Films, he also made a talent hold deal with Sony Pictures Television to create and host his own syndicated talk strip. Sony had no comment, but sources close to Mr. Behrendt said the author (who is now promoting his next book, "It's Called a Break-Up Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy") is fleshing out the strip's format for a fall 2006 launch. The project could well be Sony's joint syndie strip with Tribune. Here's hoping Mr. Behrendt's relationship with Sony is a lasting one. -CHRISTOPHER LISOTTA



Real Live Poker

As a televised live event, six guys sitting around a table playing cards lacks the drama and suspense of ... well, just about every other professional sport. Still, when you have the famously whiny Phil "Poker Brat" Helmuth Jr. versus the equally whiny Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, the chips will surely fly. This week Fox Sports Net will announce a four-hour live poker tournament, "The FullTiltPoker.net Invitational Live From Monaco," set to air Nov. 24. The program marks the third live poker event in TV history. Completing the matchup live on the felt with Mr. Helmuth and Mr. Matusow will be Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot, John Juanda and Phil Ivey. At last: Poker pros taking bathroom breaks in real time! -JAMES HIBBERD