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MAVTV Puts Brash ‘Pinks’ Host Back in the Driver’s Seat

STELA Gets A New Moniker, Again 3/03/2013 7:00 PM Eastern

Rich Christensen made a name for himself as the brash “lose the race, lose your ride” creator and host of Pinks, on Speed Channel, and the successor show, Pinks All Out, in which amateur racers competed for cash and glory but not for the other guy’s car.

Now, two-plus years after ending his run on Speed, he has signed a content development deal with Lucas Oil-owned MAVTV American Real Network. His first show, Won & Done, debuts April 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

“It’s just so bad-ass,” he told The Wire in a phone interview last week. “The best part of Pinks was not when someone lost the car but when they negotiated to race,” he said.

Losing the pink slip to one’s car, he said, was like the death penalty. “I gave this [new show] life without the possibility of parole.”

In Won & Done, amateurs race one on one at a drag strip in Irwindale, Calif. The winner gets $500 and the privilege of being invited back to race again, assuming he or she didn’t misbehave in some way. “There’s no guarantee,” Christensen said.

The loser’s Vehicle Identifi cation Number is written down, and that vehicle is banned from future racing on the show: life without parole. But any vehicle that stays undefeated for 10 races gets a $50,000 bonus.

Before they race, the drivers — selected by Christensen — negotiate terms. A faster car, for example, might give a slower one a lead of one or two car lengths.

And everything’s negotiable. “I can put a snowmobile against a dragster,” he said. “I can, and I will. You’ll see me do it! I do not want to alienate any group that has a community.”

Christensen said the best race so far has been a diesel turbo truck vs. a Kawasaki motorcycle. The motorcycle yielded a six-length lead — and a mere four inches separated the drivers at the end of an eighth of a mile.

Christensen did more than 100 episodes of Pinks, Pinks All Out and Pinks All Outtakes. He also created Pass Time, the drag-racing game show on Speed. He said he left on bad terms with executives there but made “good money.”

He also said his lawyers and Speed’s lawyer agreed the Pinks shows and Won & Done were different enough to avoid any conflict over the concept.

Speed VP of media relations Erik Arneson confirmed Speed, part of Fox Sports Media Group, wouldn’t oppose the new show.

“Rich was a ball of energy that entered the Speed atmosphere and delivered some of the most fun that we’ve had creating original programming,” Arneson said. “Certainly we wish him well in his new venture.”

Name That Bill? Help ‘STELA’ Get A New Moniker, Again

SHVIA, SHIVA, SHVERA and STELA. Many of those acronyms, I’m told, strike fear into the hearts of some,” House Communications Subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said at a hearing teeing up satellite compulsory-license renewal legislation. The law has gone by all those monikers.

If past is prologue, STELA (the Satellite Television Extension and Reauthorization Act) will emerge from its latest reauthorization fight with another new name, like a would-be Hollywood star rebranding him or herself — that is, unless the law is allowed to ride off into the sunset like the former Marion Morrison (John Wayne).

“I think we should have an online contest to name [the bill] ELOISE,” Walden said, a reference to Eloise Gore, the Federal Communications Commission official now working on her fourth satellite-bill reauthorization. “But I’ve been struggling with figuring out how we do that …”

Hmm, the Ensuring Localism on Individual Satellites Extension Act does have a kind of a ring to it.

The Wire knows a challenge when it hears one. So, submit your suggestions for a new satellite reauthorization bill name/acronym. We’ll seed the effort with the following suggestions, then choose and print the winner — our submissions excluded, darn it! — and runners up if there are any) in an upcoming column.

Here are our humble offerings, with the explanation that among the stakeholders are Dish Network, which would like to give viewers a choice of importing at least one nearby outof- market station in markets that straddle states; broadcasters, which would prefer the bill simply be renewed as is; and the studios, which are lobbying for either getting a bigger compulsory license payday or the chance to negotiate individually with distributors.

The Homes Offered Preferred Programming Extension and Reauthorization (HOPPER) Act.

The Compulsory License Extension and Nothing Else (CLEANE) Act.

Multichannel Users of Satellite Television Carriage and Re-Use Reauthorization Extension (MUST CARRE) Act.

Programmers’ Annual Yield Undervalues Satellite Market Offerings Reauthorization and Extension (PAYUSMORE) Act.

— John Eggerton

September