What’s in a name?
A lot, if you’re a network about to pour millions into a marketing campaign to launch your new fall skeins or relaunch your channel.
But as the folks behind Spike TV and CBS’ new drama “The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.” are finding, there are always people who feel entitled to your title.
Viacom is headed to court against Spike Lee this August to find out once and for all whether it can rechristen its testosterone cabler TNN as “Spike TV.”
Lee — who apparently still thinks he’s the most famous Spike out there — has so far convinced a New York court that Viacom was trading on his name. In its defense, the conglom has trotted out the ghost of Spike Jones — in the form of his son — to state its case.
Meanwhile, David E. Kelley, 20th Century Fox TV and CBS filed a complaint in a Los Angeles federal court June 25 to stake a claim for their upcoming series.
New Hampshire-based production company MJM had notified Kelley, 20th and CBS that it had produced a New Hampshire-set film called “Brotherhood,” and that the series borrowed heavily from it.
Kelley, 20th and CBS hope to resolve the issue before the Eye spends its marketing money on branding the show.
“We believe that MJM’s claim that it has any monopoly on the use of the word ‘brotherhood’ in film or television series titles is ludicrous,” the trio said in a statement.