His winning four-course meal consisted of a vegetable dish, a clam and lobster offering, a duck and pork plate, and a fruit dessert called a Singapore Sling, native to the country where the finale was shot.
Is it a sneaker play?The advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood (a/k/a Pipe Dream) has asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the soon-to-debut Nicktoons cartoon "Zevo-3," starring three characters first created to market Skechers shoes to kids.
Unless banned, the group said, the show could pave the way for Tony the Tiger and other iconic cartoon pitchmen to become stars of their own series - potentially inundating children's TV with what amounts to full-length commercials.
Given the state of kids' TV, we think a cartoon about the Keebler elves could be kind of entertaining, not to mention cartoons about Captain Crunch, Toucan Sam and "The New Adventures of Old Count Chocula."
But the complaint filed with the FCC by the CCFC targeting "Zevo-3" (scheduled to premiere Oct. 11) depicted "Zevo-3" as "the first children's TV show starring characters that are known to children only as commercial logos and spokescharacters."
Specifically, the complaint said the show would violate a federal requirement in the Children's Television Act that no cable TV operator shall air more than 12 minutes of commercial matter per hour during children's programming. The show also would violate the FCC's requirement of a clear separation between commercial content and programming matter, the complaint said.
Kristen Van Cott, co-executive producer of "Zevo-3" and a senior vice president of Skechers Entertainment, said she and her colleagues had worked hard to ensure the show conforms with FCC provisions and were confident it would air on schedule.
"Skechers Entertainment is tremendously proud of 'Zevo-3,' " she said in a statement. "It's a fun, action-packed and beautifully animated series."
And if kids want to buy a certain brand of sneakers after watching it, so be it.
The swoosh could join the party with "Nike Rider," about a boy who solves crimes with his talking running shoes.
Maybe "Reebok to the Future"?
How about "(Bleep) My Adidas Says"?
There are no overt pitches for Skechers in the cartoons, and Van Cott said the plot lines "often reflect issues that kids deal with on a daily basis - from peer pressure and bullying to relationships with family and friends."
How about that episode in which the boy gets bullied over his new sneakers?
A spokesman for Nicktoons, David Bittler, said tersely: "This show does not violate the Children's Television Act."
But the CCFC disagrees: "For children, these characters have become the embodiment of the shoe lines they represent," said the complaint. "So much so that retailers report that kids often ask for a shoe by character name rather than the shoe model."
Tattbits* The Toronto
International Film Festival has rung up another sale.
Director Robert Redford's Abraham Lincoln assassination drama, "The Conspirator," starring Robin Wright and James McAvoy, has been picked up for theatrical distribution by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions.
Expect a spring release.
With a $20 million budget, "The Conspirator" was one of the biggest films to screen in Toronto without a distribution deal.
* Goodbye, Henry Miller; hello,
Stephen Sondheim ("Sweeney Todd," "Follies").
The 1,055-seat Broadway theater on West 43rd Street, now named after Miller, was formally renamed yesterday in honor of Sondheim, who turned 80 in March.
* Hootie & the Blowfish is
getting a monument in Columbia, S.C.
Yes, Hootie & the Blowfish.
The State newspaper reported that a large steel and black granite art piece will be unveiled Oct. 21 blocks from the University of South Carolina.
The newspaper reported the monument is expected to be about 20 feet long, 10 feet wide and at least 12 feet tall.
Philadelphia may have to reconsider that statue to the The Hooters.
* Jillian Michaels ("The Big-
gest Loser") is joining race-car driver Danica Patrick as a Go Daddy Girl, a move that company CEO Bob Parsons said should attract new customers.
Gee, Bob, it would seem to Tattle that if someone called Jillian a Go Daddy Girl, she'd punch his lights out.
But Parson didn't turn Go Daddy into a billion-dollar company by being dumb.
He said he suspects most of his company's customers are overweight, as are most Americans, who he said make up 82 percent of the world's Internet users.
"They will recognize Jillian and they'll be charged up by her," said Parsons, who said that he and his wife came upon the idea while watching TV. "My days of being a fat guy are numbered."
* Taylor Swift is in a new
The country superstar is teaming with the retail chain for the release of her news album, "Speak Now," due Oct. 25. If you buy the CD from Target, you'll get three additional songs, remixed tunes and video content.
* The National Book Foundation
announced yesterday that author Tom Wolfe ("The Right Stuff," "The Bonfire of the Vanities") will receive an honorary National Book Award for lifetime achievement.
The foundation said a special prize for outstanding service to the American literary community also will be given to Joan Ganz Cooney. Cooney's research on television and education helped inspire the beloved children's program "Sesame Street."
Nominees for the competitive categories will be announced Oct. 13.
On the awards show night, however, the real question is with which author will Lady Gaga perform?
Daily News wire services contributed to this report.