TNN Calling All Young Males

Mar 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Howard Stern is in talks for a new scripted series that would be seen on The New TNN.
It would be an animated show and focus on one of the subjects Mr. Stern refers to with regularity on his weekday nationally syndicated radio program: his tortured adolescence as a nerd. Mr. Stern could provide the voice for his self-titled character, and would likely executive produce as well.
Tentative titles for the new series include Howard Stern’s High School Years and Howard Stern: The Teen Years.
Executives at The New TNN declined to comment; Mr. Stern and his agent, Don Buchwald, declined too.
Mr. Stern’s radio show is immensely popular with men 18 to 34; coincidentally, that’s a demo the New TNN, which is trying to build a heavily male-oriented schedule, is very interested in targeting.
The network, building on the strong animation-world connections of Nickelodeon, its sister cable network, also is making a strong push into original animated series aimed at adults.
Mr. Stern would be joining an animated roster that includes high-profile voice stars Kelsey Grammer and Pamela Anderson, both of whom have New TNN animated-series projects coming up.
Mr. Grammer will be the voice of Gary the Rat, an animated New York attorney so fiercely focused on winning the rat race that he becomes an actual rodent.
Ms. Anderson will be the voice of Stripperella, an animated series in development from Stan Lee (the co-creator of Spider-Man, among others) about a “stripper by night who is a superhero by later at night,” as the network characterizes it.
Additionally, TNN is bringing back The Ren & Stimpy Show, animator John Kricfalusi’s cult-hit cartoon series from the first half of the 1990s, about the comic (and often gross) misadventures of a chihuahua and a cat.
The network already has a strong male orientation with series such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and WWE Raw, the most-watched show on advertiser-supported cable, and its viewership is already approximately two-thirds male 18 to 49.
While Stern’s radio show and the late-night TV version on E! Entertainment Television are problematic buys for many marketers, one buyer said depending on the content, the animated series could be much more advertiser friendly. Mr. Stern was also responsible for a now-canceled series on FX called Son of a Beach, but that show did not feature a Stern namesake.