Spike vs. Spike Heats Up

Variety reports that filmmaker Spike Lee has scored a minor victory over Viacom in his suit to keep the media giant from re-branding cable network The New TNN as Spike TV. New York State Supreme Court Justice Walter Tolub granted a temporary injunction to Lee, who is represented by Johnnie Cochran.

In court papers, Cochran argues that the name Spike TV is an obvious play on the brand of smart, edgy and irreverent humor Lee has exhibited in films like Do The Right Thing, She’s Gotta Have It and Jungle Fever, as well as a series of Nike TV ads.

The injunction will put a halt on Viacom’s plans to launch Spike TV this Monday. The network, which filed its appeal today, issued a statement saying, “We are seeking an immediate stay of the court’s order pending appeal. We respectfully disagree with the court’s judgment, which we believe is not supported by the law or the evidence.”