I get letters, I get letters, I get something less than stacks and stacks of letters…

May 12th, 2008 | by mmb5 |

As most of you know, I have been running a television death pool and it’s currently in its 8th year. It was named for a less-than-A-list actress who had developed a reputation for being a “show killer”, since she had a string where she would be a star on a TV series, but it was disappear quickly. She had this reputation, whether deserved or not, well before my little game came along.  Hey, I’m not the one who co-starred in not one, but two sitcoms with Tom Arnold, but who am I to judge?

Last month, I received a cease and desist notice from this actress’ lawyer. I cannot post the letter here due to “confidentiality”, but I was accused of libel and illegally using the portrait of someone famous. Considering who I work for and the intellectual property rights of said actress, I quickly changed the name of the site just to be within the law, although if I had enough legal power, I probably could have won at least a partial victory. There is nothing more exciting then being in a room at a Travelodge at midnight in Grand Forks, ND quickly trying to change names of a web site.

So I began to wonder what to name the site now that I really can’t use her anymore. I thought about using something relating to Don Overmyer, who tried and failed to start a fourth network in 1967. His brilliant idea started with a two hour live variety show from Las Vegas five nights a week. You know, start out small with a modest budget. The landscape was very different in 1967, most cities didn’t have a spare station to start a fourth network with, and even the ones who did were barely watched UHF stations at a time where more than 50% of the nation’s sets couldn’t get UHF. So, except for a handful of markets, the show aired overnight on tape-delay on the local CBS station. The network lasted a month. So, I thought, here was my guy, since he would be obscure, had one of the largest failures in TV history, and would surely not be around to sue me. The first two were right, the third was not. And checking on the internet, he loves to sue.

So, I’ve gone with my backup plan, which is to make up a name that can’t be traced. Of course, savvy TV junkies will be able to figure out the etymology, but for now, please enjoy the Ted Marshall Open.

  1. One Response to “I get letters, I get letters, I get something less than stacks and stacks of letters…”

  2. By Rob H. on May 12, 2008 | Reply

    I guess the “Ted Marshall Open” sounds better than the alternative. :)

    So would “Ted”‘s career veer more toward quirky comedy-dramas or big-name shark-jumpers?

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