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New TNN programs cater to young adult males.

Old 06-25-03, 02:35 PM
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New TNN programs cater to young adult males.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/TV/0....ap/index.html



Stripper by night, crimefighter by later night: "Stripperella" is one of the New TNN's centerpiece shows.

Sex, babes, tech: It's the new New TNN
Trying to be guys' 'new best friend'
Wednesday, June 25, 2003 Posted: 10:18 AM EDT (1418 GMT)


NEW YORK (AP) -- Gadgets, wrestling and Pamela Anderson -- is this what guys want?

Albie Hecht thinks so. The president of the TV network that may or may not be known as Spike is betting that a formula that's been a big hit in magazines will translate to television.

Like Maxim, FHM and Stuff in print, the Viacom-owned network wants to create a small screen haven for young men.

"Everywhere in pop culture right now there's this sense of 'what's going on with guys?' " he said. "Well, what's going on with guys is a lot, and we want to give them a channel to discuss it, to give them guidance, to give them entertainment ... to be their new best friend."

Cable's TNN had hoped, by now, that its new name Spike would be in place. It's not, because of filmmaker Spike Lee's battle to stop it. Network executives learned Tuesday that a trial will likely be scheduled in August for Lee's challenge.

On Thursday, the network debuts a trio of new programs, including "Stripperella," an animated series featuring a superhero stripper based on and voiced by Anderson.

TNN, formerly The Nashville Network, became The National Network, a general interest channel in 2001 after Viacom took over. Its future direction was foreshadowed when it became the home of professional wrestling.

Viacom -- which also owns CBS, Paramount, the Showtime premium cable channel, the basic cable networks MTV, VH1, BET, and book publisher Simon & Schuster -- has made a fortune with networks that dominate a particular niche in the marketplace. Its leaders believed that TNN would be more valuable if it became known as a destination for young men.

"To the extent that magazines like Maxim, FHM and Stuff have really revolutionized the magazine business, it certainly would suggest that you may be able to do the same thing with television," said Larry Gerbrandt, a television analyst with Kagan World Media.

"Nobody had really gone after it in such a blatant way," he said.

'I think it's a commendable idea'

Pam Anderson, voice of Stripperella, appears at the Spike TV premiere party. The "Spike" name is being litigated.
Not even Maxim. The magazine's publisher, Dennis Publishing Co., announced 18 months ago that it wanted to start its own cable network. It even had a natural name: Maxim Entertainment Network, or M.E.N.

"That's about as far as our plans have moved since then," said Andy Clerkson, general manager of Maxim.

Instead of creating a network, Maxim has instead been producing individual programming for other networks, like "Maxim's Hot 100," of the best-looking women in entertainment, which ran on NBC June 14. The company's Stuff magazine is even producing a show on gadgets for TNN.

"We wish them well with the project," Clerkson said. "I think it's a commendable idea."

Lee, the director of "Do the Right Thing," "Malcolm X" and "25th Hour," doesn't think so.

He has complained that the network's name change to Spike would associate him with the "demeaning, vapid and quasi-pornographic content" of the network.

"They're not appealing to their intellects," Gerbrandt said. "They're appealing to the butt-scratching caveman in all of us -- cartoons with naked strippers, giant sweaty men body-slamming each other and monster trucks."

Hecht considers this characterization unfair. The network's schedule is pocked with quality, including "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" reruns and the "Star Trek" series, he said.

Men's Health magazine, GQ, Car & Driver and CBS Marketwatch are also producing programming for the network, he said.

"This isn't just about the frat boy part of people's minds," he said. "This is about the broadness of what guys are in their totality. They're interested in cars, fitness, health and travel. And this is what we're offering them."

'Walking a very fine line'

Spike Lee has sued to prevent the use of the "Spike" name.
Young men are considered a prize demographic by advertisers, and if TNN can prove that it reaches the audience consistently, the effort to brand it as the network for men will be a smart move, said Geraldine Laybourne, president of Oxygen Media and former Nickelodeon head.

But they have to guard against going so aggressively for the lowest common denominator that it turns advertisers off, she said.

"They are going to be walking a very fine line," Laybourne said.

A bigger problem may be in trying to create a niche -- TNN is targeting men aged 18 to 49 -- that is too broad. Nickelodeon rules among the under-11 set, and MTV is tops among music-centered teens.

TNN's prime-time audience (which is down slightly from last year) is already 65 percent male. But ESPN has a 79 percent male audience and Comedy Central is at 64 percent, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Even the History Channel, although its audience tends to be older, has a greater percentage of men: 72 percent.

"If they were going out there trying to get distribution, they would have a hard time convincing cable operators that men need their own channel," Laybourne said. "Cable operators have been catering to men since the beginning of time."

Hecht said these other male-dominated networks offer only parts of what intrigue men, while he's attempting to appeal more broadly to their interests.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hmmmm.....maybe they should change their network name to TNA.
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Old 06-25-03, 09:32 PM
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I saw some sort of launch program for the 'New TNN' on Monday. It was filmed at the Playboy Mansion, but it was loaded with annoying celebrity shills... the worst of which was Fred Durst. He was trying to be cool, made himself seem even lamer than usual.
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Old 06-26-03, 07:16 AM
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Originally posted by DRG
I saw some sort of launch program for the 'New TNN' on Monday. It was filmed at the Playboy Mansion, but it was loaded with annoying celebrity shills... the worst of which was Fred Durst. He was trying to be cool, made himself seem even lamer than usual.
Why is Fred Durst ALWAYS at the Playboy Mansion???
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Old 06-26-03, 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by Dacoops3
Why is Fred Durst ALWAYS at the Playboy Mansion???
Desperation for celebrity status?

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Old 06-26-03, 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by Dacoops3
Why is Fred Durst ALWAYS at the Playboy Mansion???
if you could go to the mansion as much as you wanted, wouldn't you always be there as well?
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Old 06-26-03, 01:24 PM
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The radio commercials are the worst for this station. Basically, it's a bunch of different guy's voices, repeating the same thing twenty times with slightly different inflection.

"The first television network for men!"
"The first television network for men!"
"The first television network for men!"
"The first television network for men!"
"The first television network for men!"
"Striparella!" "Striparella!" "Striparella!"
"I like Pamela Anderson!"
"I like Pamela Anderson!"
"I really like Pamela Anderson!"

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP
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Old 06-26-03, 03:27 PM
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So, there is something more annoying then all their banner ads, huh?
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Old 06-26-03, 03:54 PM
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I thought they were just gonna air Do The Right Thing and Malcom X 24/7.
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Old 06-26-03, 04:06 PM
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Originally posted by slop101
I thought they were just gonna air Do The Right Thing and Malcom X 24/7.
Those are chick flicks though.
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Old 06-26-03, 07:19 PM
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Originally posted by Dacoops3
Why is Fred Durst ALWAYS at the Playboy Mansion???
He wants to keep his bizkit from going limp.
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Old 07-05-03, 01:26 AM
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Anyone see the Striperella commercial with Kid Rock?

I seriously swtich to TNN during commercials, hoping they'll be showing commercials because I'm so oddly drawn to their stupidity.
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