Spike Gives TNN a $16.8 Million Headache

Spike Lee’s suit against TNN is costing the company 16.8 million this week, according to the cable outfit. The network was barred from using the name last week by a New York Supreme Court judge who granted director Spike Lee’s request for an injunction halting the planned brand change. In papers filed in an appellate court, the network said that complying with the injunction has created “confusion, expense and disruption” and will likely cost the network hundreds of millions in lost advertising revenue.

The director of controversial films such as Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X filed suit against the network June 2 and claims TNN intentionally choose the name to capitalize on his reputation as a popular director and celebrity personality. Meanwhile Viacom’s legal team argued that Lee doesn’t own the name Spike, citing other figures such as director Spike Jonze, musician Spike Jones and writer Spike Milligan.

The rebranding was scheduled for last Monday, but the network has remained The New TNN due to the injunction. A new block of adult toons featuring Stan Lee’s Stripperella, Jon Kricfalusi’s Ren & Stimpy and Kelsey Grammer’s Gary the Rat are also scheduled to premiere on the cable station this month.