The Frog is Toasted

Sep 25, 2006  •  Post A Comment

It was out with Ye Olde WB in Garth Ancier’s terraced and green-grassed Coldwater Canyon backyard Sunday. It was in with Ye Newe CW Monday on the green-carpeted “New York streets” of the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank (where there apparently are no faux Burbank streets).

At Mr. Ancier’s house, the nostalgia ran as thick and sweet as the chocolate fountain ordered up by the host, who also entertains on this scale for TV movers and shakers at Oscar time. Among the 500 or so considered some of The WB’s nearest and dearest were directors (David Nutter of “Jack & Bobby”), executives (former program chief Susanne Daniels, former distribution chief Ken Werner) and, of course, actors.

The Insider would have given anything to witness the reunion of leading ladies Robyn Lively, Shannon Sturges and Jamie Luner from Aaron Spelling’s “Savannah,” which was launched and canceled in 1996. And not one of them was so nipped, tucked, smoothed and tightened as the reunion of “Charlie’s Angels” for the Emmycast’s remembrance of Mr. Spelling last month.

The WB moments tucked into the five hours of iconic pilots aired on the last official night of The WB were reminders of how much enduring talent got its big break on the netlet. Indeed, Mr. Ancier and Chris Donovan and Karin Rainey (WB on-air and graphics executives who have moved to The CW) wrestled with the archival surfeit of images down to the wire.

As the evening wound to an end, everyone tried to gather ’round the lone TV, a 42-inch plasma set in the pool house, to see the minute-long closing montage that ended with a ghostly white Michigan J. Frog doffing his hat one last time. The WB buried him as network mascot last year, a milestone so seismic the mourning was international. “Der Frosch ist tot,” was the headline on a German report at the time.

The Insider got all misty-eyed. She did.

The following night, many of the same people joined the 2,000 or so bigwigs, affiliates, advertisers, cast members (“The Exorcist” star Linda Blair, who’ll guest star on “Supernatural”) and producers (Chris Rock and Kelsey Grammer) who celebrated the launch of The CW, which, of course, was born of the best of The WB and UPN. Count Mr. Ancier among those producers, because the following day The Hollywood Reporter scooped his plans to hang a production shingle under the Warner Bros. umbrella.)

By evening’s end there were people reported dancing on pool tables-probably a few too many trips to the Kryptonite Bar, where drinks were cooled by “Smallville” ice cubes.

Entertainment ranged from CW or Pussycat Dolls tattoos and a “Supernatural” cigar and spirits bar to a performance by the Blue Man Group.

As many of The Insider’s readers know, The CW’s official color is a shade of green that hasn’t been universally acclaimed. If you must know, it’s PMS 370 on the color wheel. Not for the first time, The Insider asks: Who else would tell you such things?

Blue Man Group firmly refused to go green. Seems the group does only blue material and considers anything else off-color.

Rim shot, please.