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.



Lights! Camera! 'L Word' Action!

December 5, 2005 12:00 AM

A network has finally found a way to harness the awe-inspiring power of online fan boys who dream of a screenwriting credit. Showtime has announced it will offer fiction-writing viewers a chance to contribute to an actual episode of "The L Word." When the third season kicks off in January, fans can log on to FanLib.com and receive directions on writing and posting a scene for an upcoming show. Scenes that receive the most online votes will be cobbled together and polished to create a complete script. "The L Word" is probably the ideal series for this experiment, because much of online fan fiction involves scenarios in which female characters of popular shows have sex with each other anyway.-James Hibberd

I Want My Court TV

What happens when you take away Court TV from loyal viewers? The network recently did a research study and found that withdrawal symptoms included the urge to take Xanax and smoke cigarettes-and that was after just three days without Nancy Grace and company. The study, conducted by Latitude Research, paid folks not to watch Court TV and discovered that heavy viewers found not watching to be even more painful than they anticipated. Phone follow-up with participants elicited the following testimony: "I was a witch. Extremely moody. My husband couldn't figure out what was wrong with me," said one participant in the experiment. "My husband offered to double what I was being paid so that I could watch Court TV again," said another. -Jon Lafayette

AOL Does 'Daisy'

Daisy's not just doing America, she's doing it online. America Online will be one of the key sponsors of TBS's new comedy "Daisy Does America," which premieres Tuesday. The other sponsors are T-Mobile and Unilever. AOL and T-Mobile will get placements in the series and AOL.com will be the home for clips from past shows and upcoming episodes. AOL.com will also host "Daisy" contests. TBS will run promos urging viewers to go to AOL.com to get more "Daisy." In addition, T-Mobile and Unilever will get branded broadband and VOD programming. Under the deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, TBS's Web site will feature links to the home pages of the three sponsors. -Jon Lafayette

The Door's Open, Dave

There's no such thing as a permanently failed relationship in Hollywood. At the Nov. 29 Power Breakfast "Laughing Matters: Comedy in Television," sponsored by TelevisionWeek and AOL Television, Doug Herzog, president of Comedy Central and Spike TV, was asked by moderator and TVWeek Editorial Director Chuck Ross about the future of Dave Chappelle's eponymous sketch show, a huge hit for Comedy Central that halted production after Mr. Chappelle walked away from the project.

"The ball's in Dave's Court," Mr. Herzog said. "We're trying to be patient."

"Does he have your money still?" asked writer and comedy creator Phil Rosenthal, one of Mr. Herzog's co-panelists, to laughs from the more than 70 attendees.

"Some," Mr. Herzog said, referring to the huge advance the network paid Mr. Chappelle. "We would love for Dave to come back. It's all about Dave."-Christopher Lisotta

Warm and Fuzzy With Karmazin

Quick! When was the last time the famously ferocious executive Mel Karmazin got a bear hug in public? Betcha can't remember-unless you saw CNBC's Nov. 30 "Mad Money: Main Event III" town hall program. The gesture seemed to catch Mr. Karmazin, now CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, by surprise. Mr. Karmazin answered questions from the manic Jim Cramer, host of "Mad Money," about such things as why Sirius has not renewed its deal to carry Fox News Channel. Mr. Karmazin praised Fox and then said it's because he has to keep his programming costs down. Speaking of Fox News, Bill O'Reilly will offer a two-part cable-exclusive interview with soon-to-be Sirius star Howard Stern on Thursday's and Friday's "The O'Reilly Factor."-Michele Greppi