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Lowdown on upfront party scene

Networks go all out to fete new shows

Booze! Oysters! Live nude squirrels! Each networks brought its A game to the nightly blowouts during upfront week in Gotham, with perhaps the biggest and best party happening May 19 at Gotham Hall under the Adult Swim banner.

Refreshingly candid decor featured golden dollar signs all around the room and a stoned sense of opulence — in the balcony, ad buyers checked out peepshow boxes featuring various taxidermized rodents en flagrante, including a satisfied, cigarette-smoking bunny. The party’s theme? “Show Your Love With Your Money.”

Shindig came mere hours after the Turner suits and stars rubbed elbows with press colleagues at swanky Manhattan eatery Del Posto, where producers, execs and thesps from Will Smith to Will Sasso were seated next to journos.

At the Adult Swim party, pre-gaming media buyers stretched down the block, putting away pizza and beer while waiting to get in to the venue to see rapper M.I.A.

“The MTV Tr3s party was great,” said one of the buyers, “but everyone says this is the one to come to.”

While M.I.A.’s hourlong set came long after the main Turner event at 10 o’clock that morning, the afternoon Fox upfront at the Beacon on May 18 featured the cast of “Glee” performing Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” during the network’s presentation and held a more staid reception afterward.

The Turner method may have been more fun for the attendees, but there’s little question which event was rougher on the net’s staff.

“We had a 5:30 call this morning,” confessed one red-eyed Turner employee as gunshot effects, thumping bass and a mini-laser show zapped out into the aud. “It’s a great party, though.”

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