Viacom’s $9.8 billion merger with Paramount Communications creates an entertainment conglomerate that includes major TV fare (Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight and the Star Trek franchise; Viacom’s MTV, VH-1, and Nickelodeon), a publishing division (Simon & Schuster), and a sports empire (New York’s Knicks and Rangers). It’s a virtual Pandora’s box of synergistic possibilities. To wit: *Knicks at Nite Hours of beautifully restored black-and-white reruns of New York Knicks’ games. *Beavis and Butt-head: The Next Generation Cretins in space: ”Uh, Beavis, why are the Enterprise and toilet paper the same thing? Huh huh.” ”Heh heh. They both wipe out Klingons and circle Uranus. Heh heh heh.” *The Ren & Leeza Show Bloodshot Chihuaha revives ratings of perkaholic talk show with dose of Gumbelesque bile; all guests greeted with the phrase, ”You eeediot!” *VH-Wayne Public-access show undergoes yuppie makeover: hourly showings of Tia Unplugged; all videos by Amy Grant, Whitney Houston, and Enya followed by the word Schwing! *Rush Limbaugh Unplugged Right-wing loudmouth author sans microphone. It’s perfect: He gets to talk, and we don’t have to hear him. *The Real Firm World Six lawyers cooped up in a Memphis apartment for a year. Repeated requests to ”see your torts.” -Jeff Gordinier, Nisid Hajari, Michael T. Rose, Patricia Sellers
Posted March 4 1994 — 12:00 AM EST
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