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TV promos be-‘Witch’-ed

'Two Guys' 1st to air commercial spoofing scary hit

You’ve seen the movie. You’ve read the hundreds of fawning newspaper and magazine articles. Now see TV’s promo-makers battle to see who can be first to get in on the media craze surrounding “The Blair Witch Project.”

Actually, the race is over — and the folks from “Two Guys and a Girl” are the winners. Last night, ABC aired the first of several new “Two Guys” promo spots spoofing the Artisan pic.

Spots star a ski-cap wearing “Two Guys” lead Ryan Reynolds, who went out to the woods this past weekend with a videocam and taped himself doing “Blair”-style monologues. The promos even feature the spooky stick figure from the movie.

The producers of “Two Guys” came up with the idea for the campaign themselves and actually went ahead and produced the spots on their own, without ABC’s permission. Network execs loved the ads, however, and rushed them on the air in less than four days, after getting word that NBC might be working on a similar campaign.

Indeed, NBC’s crack promo squad has produced five different “Blair”-style spots for the upcoming Thursday laffer “Stark Raving Mad,” which stars Neil Patrick Harris (“Doogie Howser”) as a book agent with a horror writer as a client. Like the “Two Guys” campaign, NBC’s ads — which begin airing tonight — also feature icons from the pic, including a stick-figure Peacock logo.

Both “Two Guys” and “Mad” are from 20th Century Fox Television, though insiders say there was no collaboration.

Viewers might soon get sick of the “Blair” ripoffs, however. In addition to the ABC and NBC promos, New Line has begun airing a TV ad for “Detroit Rock City” done in “Blair” style.

Its spot has a stick figure playing a guitar.

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