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They Can KISS That Poster Goodbye

May 29, 2006 12:00 AM

To some publicists, your product just isn't cool unless it's misdemeanor cool. Last week outdoor advertising association Great Outdoor Network issued a press release bragging that one-as in, just one-poster for this week's "VH1 Rock Honors" show was stolen from a Manhattan bus stop. The release, which blamed unspecified "vandals," explained the poster used new "animated display technology" and quoted a VH1 marketing executive, who declared: "This poster was obviously stolen because of the technology." Interestingly, the VH1 rep-who apparently moonlights as a New York street crime profiler-did not take the opportunity to cite as a motivating factor the feverish anticipation over the poster's content-this time out the series salutes Def Leppard, KISS, Judas Priest and Queen. Lifetime was quicker on its feet when "Cheerleader Nation" posters were recently stolen from a Philadelphia mall and calls to media ensued. "Looks like a case of an overeager vendor, since this is the first time we've seen the press release," said a VH1 spokesperson. "Clearly there's a lot of excitement already about the 'Rock Honors' show." -James Hibberd

Recipe for a Landslide

When Harold Dieterle won Bravo's "Top Chef" competition last week, the show was the highest-rated original cable series of the night, drawing more than 1 million viewers in both the 18 to 49 and 25 to 54 demographics. He also cooked up an interactive souffl%E9;, drawing votes from the audience in three ways and marking a first for television. When the votes-via cellphones, online and interactive TV from Time Warner Cable subscribers-were tallied, Mr. Dieterle was the overwhelming favorite, pulling 93 percent of the vote versus 7 percent for the other finalist, Tiffani Faison. To get those ratings, Bravo pushed the finale on its Web site, in Sears stores and through a partnership with anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. The network bought spots and even an ad in The New York Times. "We're going everywhere and anywhere the consumer is, from on-air to online to events, to deliver the 'Top Chef' finale message," said Jason Klarman, senior VP of marketing for Bravo. -Jon Lafayette

Not Ready for Prime Time

This just in Friday (well after the TV industry's offices were emptying for the long holiday weekend, at an hour usually carefully chosen to bury bad media news):

Good news for "Passions"!

Good news-from NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly and Daytime Programs VP Annamarie Kostura, no less.

NBC has renewed "Passions" for an eighth season.

Creator James Reilly will continue his role as consulting producer and head writer, and Lisa de Cazotte will continue as executive producer.

"Jim and Lisa are a winning combination," Ms. Kostura said in a press release. "Their enthusiasm and love of the genre has created fun, fresh storytelling and we're thrilled to continue our relationship with them for what promises to be another imaginative season."

"'Passions' continues to attract a loyal fan base as well as a youthful audience that appreciates its wildly inventive story lines," Mr. Reilly said in the release.

Produced by NBC Universal Television Studio in association with Outpost Farms Productions, "Passions" ranks No. 2 for the season among women 18 to 34 and 18 to 24 and No. 1 for the season among females 12 to 17.

As for the odd timing of the announcement, Blink hears that it would have been made Thursday but for the difficulty of getting Kevin Reilly's attention. He was otherwise occupied in announcing and explaining the major surgery done on the week-and-a-half-old fall lineup to prevent Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" from getting caught in a ratings crunch between CBS's "CSI" and ABC's "Grey's Anatomy." -Michele Greppi