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IFC Following Its Anime Instincts

September 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Adding to its recently announced slate of originals, IFC has ordered two Japanese anime series, "Basilisk" and "Gunslinger Girl." Both were acquired from FUNimation Entertainment, which also produces IFC's "Samurai 7," the network's initial offering in the genre. Evan Shapiro, IFC's executive VP and general manager, said internal data shows the unrated Rainbow Media-owned cable network is getting plenty of young male traffic from "Samurai." "We found anime plays well over all of our schedule, so we want to get a lot more of it," Mr. Shapiro said. The acquisitions will launch a new one-hour Friday late-night anime block. As for IFC's recently debuted scripted efforts, "Minor Accomplishments" and "The Business," Mr. Shapiro has not announced whether he will renew the shows. But he stressed, "Both are doing incredibly well; we have overwhelming enthusiasm for them."-James Hibberd



Panning for Online Gold

The launch party for AOL's new online pop culture game "Gold Rush" had Hollywood hot spot Les Deux all aglitter last Tuesday night, combining the glamour of a major TV premiere with the marketing savvy of a high-powered Internet company. "Gold" creator Mark Burnett left, and the show's host, Mark Steines, right, along with AOL Chairman Jon Miller, center, worked the crowd, which included comedian Kathy Griffin (who will blog about the game), "Desperate Housewives'" Felicity Huffman, MTV's Kristin Cavallari and even erstwhile "Facts of Life" star Mindy Cohn. Aside from sucking down 1849 Gold Rush cocktails and nibbling on brownies brushed with gold leaf, guests answered trivia questions for gold (well, not real gold) prizes including money clips and bangles. The leggy attendants handing out the prizes turned heads with their shimmering body stockings. "I didn't know it was going to be so see-through," one admitted. She deserved the $1 million "Gold Rush" grand prize just for making it through the evening. -Christopher Lisotta



Call This 'Big'? Oh, Brother

The "Big Brother All-Stars" finale, held Tuesday in Studio City, Calif., revealed Mike "Boogie" Malin as the winner of the $500,000 prize, with his "showmance" Erika Landin taking second. VIPs, who included the press, former "Big Brother" contestants and their families, watched the live show from an air-conditioned tent complete with appetizers and drinks. The biggest shock of the night: the "Big Brother" yard. What seems spacious on TV is actually the size of a living room, with AstroTurf for grass, a dime-size pool and high walls that contribute to an overwhelmingly claustrophobic feeling. Combine this with heat and humidity, and the houseguests' erratic behavior almost seems justified. Contestant Will Kirby described the experience best: "Imagine if you and your best friend went to the basement of your house, threw out the TV, the computer and your cellphone, and locked the door," he said. "Just try it for the weekend—you'll lose your mind."-Stephanie Robbins



YouTube's Reflected Glory

Guerrilla marketing is nothing new for aspiring L.A. filmmakers, but one cinematic hopeful is using old-fashioned billboards along with one of the newest marketing tools—the Web site YouTube—to promote an upcoming film project. At one busy Los Angeles intersection, Blink spotted the ad above, which promotes a yet-unreleased film called "Life Remote Control." Speeding by the billboard, it would be easy to interpret the ad as part of a YouTube campaign, particularly with the tag line "impatience is our greatest strength"—quick bites and instant gratification indeed may be the Web site's most appealing attributes. With free exposure from the creators of projects such as "Life Remote Control," it's no wonder YouTube, which does virtually no marketing of its own, has yet to launch a major ad campaign.-Christopher Lisotta