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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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Sing Us a Song, You're the Motorcycle Man

April 24, 2006 12:00 AM

On this week's episode of "American Chopper," the brawling Teutul family builds a vintage Indian Bobber for traffic-accident-prone Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Billy Joel. The Teutuls-Paul Sr. and Paul Jr.-visit the piano man's home and motorcycle collection and need to finish the new bike in time to unveil it during one of Mr. Joel's concerts. The bike is likely to be a collector's item, though it would probably be best if it stayed on display. Mr. Joel was involved in car accidents in 2002, 2003 and 2004. He also had a motorcycle crash in 1983. For Mr. Joel, being on basic cable is now a family affair. His wife Katie Lee Joel is host of Bravo's popular "Top Chef," and what she brings home from the set is probably a lot less dangerous. -Jon Lafayette



Digitally Mastered Day Off

In a what may be a sign that the Apocalypse, when it comes, will be digital, the "Today" show is conducting its first contest in which only videos produced with digital cameras or cellphones are eligible to compete for a day of "Freedom From Your Job." Essays and videos (limited to less than one minute or 8 MB), had to be delivered via cellphone or computer by the April 19 submission deadline. Three finalists will be posted this week on MSNBC.com, where viewers can vote for the person they feel is most deserving of a day off from work and a day (and a night) on the high seas with "Today" and Barry Manilow-the singer will be doing a live concert for NBC's morning show from the Royal Caribbean ship Freedom of the Seas. The winner also will get a two-night stay in New York. All of this fun will take place during the May sweeps, of course. -Michele Greppi





Out With the Old, in With the … Old

Since January new broadcast network The CW has been spending time and money getting its name out there and playing down the soon-to-be former monikers The WB and UPN. But one WB programming block will keep its old name despite moving to The CW this fall-the five-hour Saturday morning children's programming schedule Kids WB! "We took a look at the brand, and it has the highest positive Q score among kids 6 to 11 among any of the broadcast nets," said Betsy McGowen, who last week was named senior VP and general manager for Kids WB! on The CW. Plus, NBC and CBS are revamping their Saturday morning blocks for the fall, which means Kids WB! goes into the new season as a known quantity for viewers. "In a changing marketplace, rather than having to build a new brand along with everyone else, we come out of the starting gate with a brand that is already recognized," Ms. McGowen added. Here's hoping no change is a good thing for The CW. -Christopher Lisotta