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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.

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A Little SAG's a Good Thing for 'Runway' Designer

January 23, 2006 12:00 AM

We won't know who gets to make acceptance speeches at the 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards until the ceremony is simulcast live Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. (ET) on TNT and TBS, but we already have a winner: Nick Verreos, the infectiously ebullient designer competing in the second season of Bravo's fashionable hit "Project Runway." He has been asked to design a gown for Brenda Strong, who plays the voice (and first fatality) of ABC's "Desperate Housewives"-the cast of which is nominated for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series. Mr. Verreos won the challenge to design a frock for My Scene Barbie in "Runway's" third episode with a kicky geometric-print skirt topped by a bright green halter that will be sold on a limited edition of the doll. "Runway"-smitten Blink can hardly wait to see what he turns out for Ms. Strong and is already clapping as enthusiastically as Mr. Verreos did last week when introduced to Sasha Cohen, the Olympic figure skater and model for whom the "Project"iles designed last week. -Michele Greppi



E! Red Carpet Ratings Flat

E!'s high-profile landing of Ryan Seacrest may have affected the network's budget (the deal is worth an estimated $21 million over three years), but so far the addition of the host with the most gigs in broadcasting hasn't had an impact on the network's ratings. The entertainment channel's Golden Globes red-carpet coverage, led by Mr. Seacrest, was down 4 percent among total viewers and up 3 percent among 18- to 49-year-olds compared with 2005. The network did make real gains among younger viewers, however, posting a 15 percent increase among 18 to 34. An E! spokesperson pointed out that the awards were held on a Monday night, rather than on Sunday like last year, so a decline had been expected. Let's hope its Oscar coverage shows a more dramatic bump, lest E! CEO and President Ted Harbert end up pining for the bargain-basement glory days of Star Jones. -James Hibberd



Cameras on the Bench

It's such a simple sports coverage idea that one wonders why nobody thought of it before: interviewing players during the game. Not before it starts, at halftime, or after it's over-but during. Sure, players want to, you know, pay attention to the action and all, but as Fox Sports Net West has found, such on-the-fly reactions make for good TV. "It's more immediate, for sure; nothing is more live than this," said FSNW producer Bob Borgen, who got the Los Angeles Kings to allow cameras on the bench during game play this season. Mr. Borgen hopes the innovation will help draw viewers to the ever-struggling National Hockey League. Though it's too early to tell whether the more reality-TV style will take off, FSNW said that networks OLN and NBC are now asking the Kings for similar access. -James Hibberd