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Nextel executives are glad they've got next. Included in the company's deal to serve as sole sponsor of the "9/11" documentary that ran March 10 on CBS is the right to do the same for the rerun around the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A spokeswoman says Nextel has not had discussions with CBS yet, but intends to exercise its option. CBS has not announced a date for the encore. It could be Sept. 11, but the net might opt for another night to avoid competing with other one-year anniversary tributes. "9/11" drew an estimated 39 million viewers.

Even though "That `80s Show" hasn't caused much heat on Fox, the furry character "ALF" -star of a late `80s NBC show-is trying to make a comeback. "ALF," aka Paul Fusco, is in talks with networks about a late-night chat show. The character has already resurfaced in ads for MCI's 1-800 Collect.

Some media buyers are having to tone down the expectations of clients, who for months have gotten used to calling at the last minute to quickly buy network ad time at favorable rates. Now that the scatter market has tightened-largely due to make-goods owed by ABC and Fox-media buyers getting calls for rapid-fire placement are calling in favors, making promises to networks or, when all else fails, just having to say no to confused clients.

contributing: tobi elkin

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