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Tuning in to TV

- - Monday, November 28, 2011

Dunder Mifflin copy paper available for purchase

Fans of the NBC hit comedy "The Office" already are familiar with the fictional paper company Dunder Mifflin.

Now Staples-owned Quill.com will use the Dunder Mifflin brand name for copy paper under a licensing agreement with NBCUniversal, the Wall Street Journal reported, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The Dunder Mifflin paper packages will feature slogans that fans of the series will recognize, including "Our motto is, Quabity First" and "Get Your Scrant on."

Financial details of the two-year so-called "reverse product placement" deal weren't disclosed. However, the Journal said that as part of the deal, Comcast-controlled NBCUniversal will get about 6 percent of the revenue from Dunder Mifflin paper sales. If sales targets are met, the licensing deal can be extended.

The paper brand will be priced largely above private-label copy paper, the Journal said.

Copy-paper sales are down because of the growing use of email and PDFs, and consumers often choose based on the lowest price, the Journal said. The new marketing effort is using a brand from a beloved TV series in an effort to draw attention and combat the "race to the bottom in the paper business." Quill's Chief Marketing Officer Sergio Pereira told the paper.

Other deals that have seen companies bring products and brands featured in films and TV shows and other media to life include Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, a candy featured in the "Harry Potter" series, and Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurants, based on "Forrest Gump."

Retired from 'Live,' Philbin eyes next project

After ending his run on ABC's "Live! With Regis and Kelly," Regis Philbin is aiming for a bigger prime-time talent show geared to the whole family, he told the New York Post's Page Six.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Philbin, who hosted the first season of NBC's "America's Got Talent," has formed RAF Productions with former "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" director Barry Glazer, City Island executive producer Edward Walson and Writers Guild Awards executive producer Cort Casady.

"We're contemplating a show that is sort of a talent show, but it involves the whole family," Mr. Philbin told Page Six. He added that it would be "a family competition, which is something new in our business."

The Post also said Mr. Philbin, 80, has been contacted by Gangland producer Michael Manshel about other concepts, including reviving the variety-TV format.

Hugh Laurie: 'House' will be last TV role

Hugh Laurie is already looking past the end of "House," and that future doesn't appear to include a role on another TV series, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The British actor, who is in his eighth season playing the grumpy doctor at the center of Fox's hit medical drama, told the United Kingdom's Daily Record that he likely will be finished with TV roles once the show comes to an end.

"I think I have been rather spoiled here [in America]," he said. "I can't imagine there will be another one quite like this. ... And I think I am extremely lucky to have had the one shot that I have had at it, and I wouldn't go looking for lightning to strike twice."

He said he would rather go behind the cameras for whatever his next project is.

"I think I will probably be as interested by either writing or producing or directing, or some other aspect," he said. "I find the whole field of it fascinating."

Mr. Laurie, whose voice can be heard in theaters this holiday season in "Arthur Christmas," argued that his time on "House" has more than prepped him for a new career behind the scenes.

"We have done 170-odd shows; that's about 56 feature films' worth," he said. "That's a huge amount of experience, and that sort of experience gives you a confidence in a way."

Dixie Chicks' VH1 segment out on DVD

Emily Robison admits it was a little "bizarre" watching "Dixie Chicks Storytellers" half a decade after it first aired on VH1.

The show was taped in 2006, and the Dixie Chicks' multi-instrumentalist said it feels like a lifetime ago. So many things have changed, including the nation's political climate and the Chicks' ongoing, indefinite recording hiatus. The "VH1 Storytellers" installment, out Tuesday for the first time on DVD, is the only material coming from the Dixie Chicks anytime soon. (The group did do a brief tour with the Eagles last year.)

"It's kind of a gift to our fans right now," Miss Robison said in a phone interview with the Associated Press from Texas last week, "because I know they've been so patient and they're a bit frustrated with our lack of being out there right now. So it's just something we feel like we can put out there and give to them, I guess."

"Storytellers" was taped after the release of "Taking the Long Way," the album that went on to win five Grammys, including Album of the Year, and now marks the end of the Chicks' discography for the time being.

The group was still recovering from the controversy over singer Natalie Maines' 2003 comments against President George W. Bush and the looming war in Iraq. The Dixie Chicks lost about half their audience in the ensuing furor but fought back in a powerful way, drawing support from many quarters.

The DVD documents a raw time for the band, and the emotion shared on songs such as "Not Ready to Make Nice" and "Easy Silence" is palpable. Miss Robison said she felt something of a dislocation as she watched a copy of the DVD a few months ago. Many of those emotional wounds have scarred over in the years since.

The band, which also includes Miss Robison's sister Martie Maguire, isn't the only thing that's changed in that time. The political climate is quite different, too. Eight years later, Miss Robison said, many of the same people who shouted down the Chicks are now vocal critics of President Obama.

"It was about the war then, but I think people on the other side are now realizing they want a voice with maybe the administration that they don't like now," Miss Robison said. "And for them to feel like they wouldn't be able to say what they want to say, it's all relative, because what if people were boycotting them because they said something about Obama? It's just ridiculous. People should be able to say what they want to say."

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.