News Article

BOARD GAMES

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

Originally posted Mar 04, 1994 Published in issue #212 Mar 04, 1994 Order article reprints