The Buzz

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TAKING ITS CUE from Hollywood, where films are released on a limited basis at yearend to qualify for an Oscar, Fox ran a new episode of its drama series "24" at 3 a.m. in Los Angeles Dec. 27 solely to be eligible for a Golden Globe. Rules state that a show must run seven times in the L.A. market in a year to be eligible. The episode, which made its national debut Jan. 8, also ran at 2 a.m. Dec. 30 in New York since Fox execs had trouble deciphering the rules. A Fox spokesman said he didn't know which advertisers got to pitch insomniacs and holiday revelers.

CNN BASHERS from cyber-gossip Matt Drudge to Fox News czar Roger Ailes were downright gleeful last week over CNN's short-lived promo for Paula Zahn's debut show that referred to her as "sexy" with an accompanying sound resembling a zipper coming undone. Was the ad a concoction of CNN execs Walter Isaacson and/or Jamie Kellner? CNN says no, the promo department didn't follow SOP and it's considering personnel action. Predictably, Ailes, who lost Zahn to CNN, had a different take. "This has got Kellner's fingerprints, palm prints and face prints on it," Ailes told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

The New FINE LIVING cable net, set for a spring launch, is cutting the fat for advertisers, says President Ken Solomon. Fine Living won't run credits at the end of shows, to give marketers a less cluttered environment for their pitches. No word if key grips have gripes.

contributing: wayne friedman

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