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New TV show casts lead as conservative

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 03/05/2004 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled

A television producer tired of seeing conservatives portrayed as zealots and “boobs” has helped create a new animated series featuring a journalist “passionate about the right-wing cause.”

“This Just In,” debuting March 14 on Spike TV at 10:30 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, will feature freelance columnist Brian Newport, tabbed as a Matt Drudge-like figure who “says what everybody’s thinking” with “no filter.”


“This Just In” lead character Brian Newport (Courtesy Spike TV)

The cartoon character, according to Spike TV, notably won an award for a column titled “If Ann Coulter is a man, then I don’t want to be straight!”

The comedy series uses the Flash digital animation process to enable each episode to be written and produced the week it airs.

The plots will play off current topics in politics and pop culture, and there will be frequent mention of political figures, said co-producer, head writer and the voice of Newport, Steve Marmel.

“If they’re in the news, they are on the show,” Marmel told WorldNetDaily.

“Ted Kennedy is all over the first one,” he said “It does take place in a bar, and where there is liquor there is Kennedy.”

A promo for the show says the first episode also will include timely plotlines about the presidential election and voter apathy.

Marmel said the character Newport’s view of the world is a lot like his own, noting his comedy stand-up routine, which the “The Tonight Show” has featured, is right of center.

“Traditionally on TV,” Marmel said, conservatives are unfairly portrayed as “boobs or zealots.”


“This Just In” character Brian Newport with best friend Jimmy Townhouse (Courtesy Spike TV)

Newport, in his late twenties, hangs out with buddies Craig Tindle, a “house-husband,” and Jimmy Townhouse, a teacher, described as Newport’s best friend and a moderate Democrat who “constantly has to apologize for his pal’s occasionally over-the-top opinions and actions,” according to a description on the Spike TV website.

The lead character, says Spike TV, is “outspoken, opinionated, unabashedly politically conservative and quick to crack an inappropriate joke.” Newport “is both the center of the hurricane and the cause of it. A speak first, think second, apologize eventually kind of guy … you can always count on Newport to either say what everybody’s thinking, or what everybody wishes he wouldn’t say at all.”

But with that description, doesn’t Newport come off as somewhat of a “boob,” cast in contrast to the refined sensibilities of his “moderate Democrat” friend?

No, says Marmel, “the jokes fall where they fall.”

“The only people who think this guy is a boob are the people who are boobs on the other side of the equation,” he said.

He also points out that with animation, the characters are pushed to extremes: “They are who they are to 1,000 percent.”

The show also includes Sami, a “smart, beautiful and ridiculously annoyingly leftist,” and Craig Tindle’s wife Hu, a neoconservative who sometimes clashes with Newport.

Marmel is producer and head writer of Nickolodeon’s hit show, “The Fairly OddParents.” His co-creator for “This Just In” is Kevin Kay, executive vice president of production and programming.

Spike TV, the former TNN, The National Network, positions itself as the first network especially for men. Part of MTV Networks, owned by Viacom, it has no relationship to filmmaker Spike Lee, who filed a lawsuit last year claiming trademark infringement.

Other original programming on Spike TV includes the animated “Stripperella,” a stripper who fights crime, voiced by Pamela Anderson.


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