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.



Designers Up for Adoption

July 10, 2006 12:00 AM

Bravo is letting viewers "adopt" contestants from the new season of Emmy-nominated "Project Runway" -- at least in a new media way. Fans of the show will be able to pay $1.99 to get a better idea of what their favorite aspiring designer is thinking and what's happening behind the scenes via text messages, an average of three per week. Of course, once a contestant is eliminated, the messages stop. But big fans can adopt as many designers as they want. The fee also covers "Project Runway" computer wallpaper and voice ringtones. And viewers who adopt the winning designer will receive a special download that is still being designed. "'Project Runway' is absolutely made for this kind of campaign," said Lisa Hsia, senior VP of new media for Bravo. "Our viewers are incredibly passionate about this show, and they have an insatiable appetite when it comes to knowing every single detail about our designers, challenges, host and judges." -Jon Lafayette

A Case of Stick-to-Itiveness

Not only does Vin DiBona have the longest-running show on ABC, he has also had what could be the longest-running courtship in TV history-nearly three decades. The "America's Funniest Home Videos" producer finally tied the knot July 1 with Erica Gerard, also a TV producer (MPH Entertainment), during a black-tie ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. In gestures that poked fun at the couple's 29-year, on again-off again courtship, guests were presented with souvenir linen handkerchiefs embroidered with the word "Finally" and later received crystal clocks bearing the legend "It's About Time." And, in a tip of the hat to their careers-they first met while working together on TV documentaries in the late '70s-the couple provided programs specifying the occasion as an "airdate," with production credits listing participants, including reader Henry Winkler, in order of appearance. The couple is currently working on a new co-production: their honeymoon in Italy. -Tom Gilbert

An Unsettling morning Call

Bill Lawrence, the creator of the Emmy-nominated NBC comedy "Scrubs," got into an argument with his wife very early last Thursday morning when they were awakened by the call intended to let him know his creation had been nominated for best comedy. The ringing phone annoyed his pregnant wife-actress Christa Miller, a frequent guest on the show-because she thought one of Mr. Lawrence's East Coast college buddies, who apparently have trouble understanding the West Coast is in a different time zone, was calling to shoot the breeze. They chose to ignore the call, and Mr. Lawrence worried that when he played the message later it would indeed be one of his friends. Thankfully the call was Emmy-related. "We had to apologize to each other," Mr. Lawrence told TelevisionWeek, but in short order the couple got into it again over whether Ms. Miller should buy an expensive maternity dress for the Emmys ceremony in August. -Christopher Lisotta

D-Lister Bags an Upgrade

Kathy Griffin, the star and executive producer of Bravo's reality series "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," can no longer claim she's at the bottom of the Hollywood food chain. Ms. Griffin, who has made a career out of skewering A-list celebrities and bemoaning her own lowly star-power status, found out last week she was nominated for an outstanding reality series Emmy. That kind of recognition bumps one up at least a few letters. While other first-timers gushed about how thrilled they were to be considered Emmy-worthy, Ms. Griffin e-mailed her publicist from her latest stand-up gig, Rosie O'Donnell's annual gay family cruise, to ask a question about one of her fellow category nominees: "Do I get the same gift bag as Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer?" Blink thinks you do.

-Christopher Lisotta

Bravo Elevates Exec Quartet

Speaking of Bravo, at press time the cable network was planning to announce today four staff promotions among its programming and production team: Frances Berwick has been appointed executive VP; Andrew Cohen has been upped to senior VP; and David Serwatka and David O'Connell are now VPs. -James Hibberd