- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 7, 2007

Chappelle in syndication

Comedy Central series “Reno 911!” and “Chappelle’s Show” will launch in syndication next fall, the Reuters news agency reports.

MGM Studios, the shows’ syndicator, said it’s getting an “enthusiastic” response from the stations it’s approached.

“The sitcom arena is always one that works well for stations, but there’s not as much product coming down the pike,” said Jim Packer, president of worldwide television distribution at MGM.

” ‘South Park’ has already broken the cable-to-syndication taboo and really proven that a show that works on Comedy Central can make it in syndication quite well.”

Comedy Central recently picked up “Reno 911!” for a fifth season. The half-hour mockumentary centers on the cops who patrol Reno, Nev. The comedy has also been adapted into a feature film, “Reno 911!: Miami,” which comes to the big screen next month.

“Chappelle’s Show” is a sketch-comedy series starring comic Dave Chappelle. It began airing in January 2003. The show’s second season was the top show in its slot in all of television among men 18 to 34, while the DVD set “Chappelle’s Show Season One Uncensored!” is the best-selling DVD of a television show to date, selling more than 3 million copies. Mr. Chappelle abruptly left the show without explanation during production on the third season.

DIY Super Bowl ads

You might not have a chance of ever playing in the Super Bowl, but you could participate in something with even more viewers — the Super Bowl commercials.

A number of marketers are asking consumers to create ads for Super Bowl XLI, which airs on CBS Feb. 4, Reuters reports.

“User-generated content is the hottest concept in marketing today,” said Fran Kelly, president of ad agency Arnold Worldwide. Web sites like YouTube, featuring videos sent in by average Janes and Joes, are some of the biggest draws on the Internet.

Chevrolet and Doritos will be among those trying to win over the anticipated 90 million viewers with ads developed by average consumers.

One man has something odd to sell — himself. He’s hoping to use 15 seconds of a marketer’s Super Bowl time slot to propose to his girlfriend. The groom-to-be says on his MySuperProposal.com site that “a deal seems like it’s in the works.”

The National Football League itself is sponsoring a “Best NFL Super Bowl Commercial Ever” contest that gives fans a chance to create a spot and have it broadcast during the game.

For many, these commercials and others will be the highlight of Super Bowl XLI in South Florida. So far, marketers have paid up to $2.6 million for a 30-second spot, slightly more than last year, when the game aired on ABC.

Top buyers so far have included Anheuser-Busch, which has purchased 10 30-second spots, General Motors and PepsiCo.

“As you go into a Super Bowl spot, you have to think about it as much more than just that 30-second advertisement,” said Andrew Burke, vice president for marketing at Diamond Foods. “It’s about water-cooler talk the next day; it’s about chatter on the Internet before and after the game.”

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from wire reports.

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