Reuters reports that the legal dispute between film director Spike Lee and Viacom Inc. was settled yesterday. The media giant will finally be able to rebrand its TNN cable network as Spike TV – “the first network for men.”
The change was supposed to take place weeks ago to coincide with the launch of The Strip, the network’s new late-night adult animation block featuring Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, Gary The Rat starring Kelsey Grammer and Stan Lee’s Stripperella starring Pamela Anderson.
Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Walter Tolub had granted Lee a temporary injunction to stop Viacom from using the name Spike, which he felt people would associate with himself. The judge has now lifted that order and the lawsuit has reportedly been withdrawn. Terms of the settlement have not been made public.
Viacom claims that it has lost tens of millions of dollars by postponing the rebranding of The New TNN. There is no word yet as to whether or not the comglom will file a counter suit.
While the suit has caused woes for TNN, the publicity no doubt contributed to the high ratings its new cartoon slate received when it debuted two weeks ago. The cabler doubled its numbers during the two-hour block, with Stripperella pulling in a total of two million viewers. The Strip airs every Thursday beginning at 10:00 P.M.