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The Insider

Apr 16, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Everybody loves residuals
Shades of Morton’s in its heyday. CBS’s Monday comedy block is the place to find industry insiders. Causing a double take last week on Columbia TriStar Television’s “King of Queens” was CTTD President Steve Mosko as a new employee who gets the delivery route Doug (Kevin James) has coveted. “I had a blast doing it,” said Mr. Mosko, whose resume also includes an appearance in the 1982 movie “Diner.” On the previous Monday, CBS reran the episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” in which Ray Romano’s brother Robert Romano-who by day is Turner Broadcasting’s ad sales PR director-uttered the line “Hey, Ray, how’s it going?”-for which he took home about $400. Robert had made a previous nonspeaking appearance on his brother’s hit. “Raymond” is family-friendly. Big brother Rich, the inspiration for Brad Garrett’s cop character, has appeared twice and the brothers’ parents appeared in the wedding-flashback episode that was one of the hit’s early milestones.
Speaking of everybody … `Divas Live’
A number of the stars who paid tribute to Aretha Franklin during VH1’s rollicking “Divas Live” concert did double duty as fans in the audience when they weren’t in the spotlight at the Radio City Music Hall event. Drawing the biggest gasps as she made her way through the aisles her with entourage, was cleavage queen Pamela Anderson. Causing the biggest stir among autograph and photo seekers before the concert began: “The Sopranos” stars Aida Turturro, in a looooow-cut cocktail dress, and Edie Falco, transformed by a funky, chunky and very un-Carmelalike haircut she got after production of the third season of the HBO hit wrapped last month. Also spotted in the audience was “Everybody Loves Raymond” Executive Producer Phil Rosenthal, “Third Watch” cutie Michael Beach, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and “Live With Regis & Kelly” Executive Producer Michael Gelman. Mr. Gelman was wearing a beeper because his wife, Laurie Hibberd, is ready to have their first child any day. Make that “more than ready,” Mr. Gelman said. “She’s about ready to shoot herself.”
From `Jackass’ to lower forms of life
It may not measure up (or down) to the self-mutilation quotient of MTV’s “Jackass,” but NBC’s “Fear Factor” promises a few stunts that can compete in the gross-out category. Among the stunts filmed for the reality series that wrapped production of eight episodes this month is one in which contestants are tossed into a pit crawling with 300 live rats and another in which they share a casketlike box with 300,000 “centipedelike” creatures. In its European version, Dutch producer Endemol Entertainment put contestants in a box full of tarantulas.
Adventures in syndicated television
It seems as though an act of God is keeping U-DUB Productions LLC, from getting its pilot episode of “Bingo Television” out to the industry. Last Monday was the company’s deadline to deliver the master tape to Lightning Dubs in Santa Monica, Calif., to get copies made, but the tape never made the seemingly easy transaction. When pulling up to drop it off, U-DUB couldn’t get anywhere near Lightning Dubs
because the area had been roped off with police tape-there had been a shooting earlier that day and nothing was going to get in or out of the building. U-DUB Chief Operating Officer Bob Lienhard finally decided to send the tape to Lightning Dubs’ Hollywood office, but not all of the copies made it out by deadline. Also, Mr. Lienhard got no help from Fed Ex. U-DUB’s main distributor, Mansfield Television in Parker, Colo., was waist-deep in snow in the city’s worst storm of the season. Fed Ex couldn’t even drive down the street to deliver the pilot to Mansfield TV. “If it wasn’t one thing, it was three others,” Mr. Lienhard said. “But the good news is that we got out the majority to the people that we needed to get them out to. We’ve got an entertaining, attractive show, and we’re doing our darnedest … to get it to market.”
The final word
Cross-promotion rose to freaky new levels and crossed competitive lines last week. On Fox News Channel’s “Your World,” anchor Neil Cavuto gushingly introduced Lou Dobbs, fresh off the announcement that morning that he will return May 14 to CNN to host “Moneyline,” as “the Yoda of financial news” and “the sultan of stock.” The next day, the mother of a member of the crew of the spy plane that was forced to land on the Chinese island of Hainan made the rounds of the morning shows. On both NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” she was asked how she had learned her son and his crewmate would soon be freed. In both cases, she was painfully honest: “Somebody from CBS called. …“