×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannell nixes ‘Viper’ title

Stephen J. Cannell Prods. has apparently headed off a Chrysler Corp. lawsuit by changing the name of its new syndicated Michael Dudikoff series from “Viper” to “Cobra.”

The announcement came at the same time as word that Cannell has entered into an arrangement with Paramount’s Premier Advertiser Sales to handle barter sales for the show.

The two events appear to be related, since Paramount Network Television has its own “Viper” series in the works. Par signed a deal with Chrysler to use its $ 50,000 Dodge Viper sports car in a potential series being developed for CBS.

When Chrysler discovered Cannell was using the “Viper” name, it filed a trademark infringement suit in U.S. District Court last month.

A joint statement released yesterday by Cannell and Par TV Group chairman Kerry McCluggage made no reference to the suit, but noted that there was concern about the confusion that would be created if both shows premiered with the same title.

Since Par is looking at a show that’s centered around a specific model car — a latter-day “Knight Rider” of sorts — and Cannell is focusing on a crime fighter whose name is Viper, Cannell figured the name could be changed without sacrificing the creative concept of the series.

“Knowing that confusion existed and that we would be doing business with Paramount on the barter issue, we were able to change the name,” a Cannell spokeswoman said.

Although Cannell has already sunk a great deal of money into advertising and promoting “Viper,” which was introduced as a last-minute addition at January’s National Assn. of Television Program Executives convention, the company rep said the mid-stream change to “Cobra” won’t be much of a problem.

“We’re only just beginning to launch the series,” she said.

Cannell has cleared the newly christened “Cobra” on stations covering 71% of the country.

For New York-based Premier, the nation’s largest barter company outside of the three networks and Fox Broadcasting, the agreement marks the latest in a string of relationships with companies other than Paramount.

Over the years, Premier has handled barter product for Viacom, MCA (a former partner in the advertising company), Columbia and Orbis.

Premier’s primary product consists of Paramount’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” as well as “The Untouchables.”

More TV

  • Billy McFarland of the Fyre Festival

    Entertainment One Takes International Rights to Hulu's 'Fyre Fraud'

    Entertainment One has picked up international rights to Hulu’s documentary on the disastrous Fyre Festival. “Fyre Fraud” looks at the unscrupulous dealings of Billy McFarland, the self-aggrandizing huckster who sold thousands of tickets to a music festival in the Bahamas that turned out to be a sham. Duped by a promotional campaign on social media [...]

  • ‘Stan & Ollie’ Producer Making Joan

    ‘Stan & Ollie’ Producer to Make TV Series About Joan and Jackie Collins

    The colorful lives of movie star Joan Collins and her bestselling novelist sister, Jackie, will be dramatized in a TV series. Sony-backed Fable Pictures, the British film and TV producer behind “Stan & Ollie,” will make the series, having secured the TV rights to the Collinses’ story. The series, which has the working title “Joan [...]

  • Friends From College

    'Friends From College' Canceled by Netflix

    Netflix has canceled comedy series “Friends From College” after two seasons. “Friends from College will not return for a third season,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “We’re grateful to creators Nick Stoller and Francesca Delbanco for creating a wise, funny and supremely relatable show. We also want to thank the hard-working crew, [...]

  • Mandy Moore

    Mandy Moore Opens Up About Her Marriage to Ryan Adams: ‘I Was So Sad’

    Mandy Moore opened up about her marriage to Ryan Adams on Monday’s episode of Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast. While the interview was taped before the publication of the Feb. 13 New York Times report in which multiple women, including Moore, accuse Adams of sexual misconduct or emotionally abusive behavior, she speaks freely about the “unhealthy dynamic” in [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron71st Annual Writers Guild Awards,

    Alfonso Cuarón on Academy's 'Inevitable' Reversal on Televised Oscar Categories

    Alfonso Cuarón isn’t exactly surprised that the Academy reversed its decision and will now air all the Oscar categories during the live show on Sunday. Feb. 24. Calling the decision “inevitable,”Cuarón tells Variety that he thinks the Academy should take things even further. “Let’s stop calling them technical categories!” he told Variety on Sunday night [...]

  • Desus Nice The Kid Mero

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of Feb. 18, 2019: Academy Awards, 'Desus & Mero'

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, the Academy Awards air and Desus & Mero make their debut on Showtime. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content