Tuesday, June 06, 2000

MTV veteran on network TV

        Colin Mortensen from MTV's Real World is getting the last laugh.

        The last-minute addition to MTV's Hawaii cast has become the first Real World veteran to land a major network role, on NBC's M.Y.O.B. (9:30 p.m. today, Channels 5, 22).

        “I wasn't supposed to be picked (by MTV),” saysthe 20-year-old California native.

        Not that his MTV fame had any influence on M.Y.O.B. executiveproducers Don Roos and Ann Donahue, who had not watched Real World.

        “He came in (to audition) and was wonderful, and then everyone told us he was famous. So he got it on his own merits,” says Ms. Donahue, a 1973 Loveland High School graduate.

        Mr. Mortensen plays A.J. Swartz, the clueless high school office assistant on the seven-week summer series.

        Horror high: The snide, sometimes cruel, observations about high school life made by Riley Veatch (Katharine Towne) on M.Y.O.B. come from creator Don Roos' not-so-fond memories of high school.

        “I think high school is a horrible, horrible place filled with horrible peers. I mean, did anybody have a good time in high school?” says the filmmaker (The Opposite of Sex; Single White Female).

        High school is “torture,” not the “idealized picture of teen life” on Popular or Dawson's Creek.

        “It's such a period of conforming, and finding out who you are, and teens are just horrible,” he says. “It's really brutal. Nothing in show biz is as difficult as 10th grade. Ever.”

        M.Y.O.B. “is more about a teen-ager's point of view about adult life. It's not about teen-age life,” he explains.

        Family TV: The Family Friendly Program Awards ceremony makes its TV debut at 9 p.m. on Aug. 12 on CBS, says Robert L. Wehling, Procter & Gamble global marketing officer.

        Dick Clark Productions will produce the second annual event, to be taped Aug. 3 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Mr. Clark produced the inaugural awards last Sept. 9 at the hotel.

        The awards are given by the Family Friendly Programming Forum, a group of 40 major national advertisers, including P&G.

        Honored last year were 7th Heaven, Touched by an Angel, the Discovery Channel and ABC's Friday “TGIF” lineup. A lifetime achievement award was presented to The Cosby Show.

        Enquirering Mind: This Enquirering mind wants to know: Why does Clear Channel heavily cross-promote sister radio stations on its eight radio stations here?

        Because people listen to radio the way they watch TV with a remote control, says Randy Michaels, president of the Clear Channel radio division based in Covington.

        “One of the myths in radio is that we all like to think that there are WEBN listeners, or WLW listeners, or KISS listeners. But the fact is a very successful station has 8-10 percent of its audience exclusively,” Mr. Michaels says.

        Clear Channel's WLW-AM (700), the No. 1 station in the most recent quarterly ratings, averaged an 8.4 audience share. Sister station WEBN-FM (102.7) was second with an 8.2 share.

        “People punch around two, three or four stations, depending on their mood. So exposing people to other program offerings within the family is a good thing,” he says.

        Clear Channel, the world's biggest radio company, also owns WOFX-FM (92.5), WFKS-FM (107.1), WVMX-FM (94.1), WSAI-AM (1530), WKRC-AM (550) and WCKY-AM (1360).

        Around the dial: UPN's Dilbert cartoon, which never made a dent in the ratings, ends with a weird two-parter about Dilbert becoming pregnant (8:30 p.m. today and next Tuesday, Channel 25).


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- KIESEWETTER: MTV veteran on network TV Colin Mortensen from MTV's Real World is getting the last laugh.
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