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Is NBC's midseason "Kingpin"-a drama with a behind-the-scenes look at the Juarez drug cartel-an experiment prompted by the famous memo by NBC's Bob Wright asking how a broadcaster can compete with the edgy content on HBO? No, says NBC Entertainment's Jeff Zucker. "Bob wrote that letter and had his views," he says. "NBC has always been the home of groundbreaking dramas ... This is just another attempt to do that. It wasn't because of anything that anybody wrote or said."

An upstart cable net, Comcast's G4 (with a video-game focus), has turned the upfront into a game -literally. An online game is an anger-management service for media buyers as well as a G4 marketing ploy. Buyers can throw staplers or magazines at sales reps and win video consoles and games.

The appointment of little-known Bob Woodruff as an anchor on ABC's Saturday newscast could have two aims. Clearly, it gives ABC the chance to groom a successor to Peter Jennings. Earlier this year, ABC news head David Westin said Charlie Gibson was in the running, but he's 58; Woodruff is 40. Woodruff may also give ABC leverage in negotiating a new deal with Jennings. An ABC rep declined to speculate on the post-Jennings era or his contract.

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