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Curse You, Disney Channel, We Fell for Your Clever Ploy

Seeking a little love and attention from the press corps for its hit animated series Phineas and Ferb, Disney Channel recently sent out personalized short video files with clips from the show to more than a dozen TV scribes. The clip package opens with one of the show's animated characters, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, the mad scientist who often, after his schemes are foiled, says, “Curse you, Perry the platypus.” Anyhow, he asks the reporter (such as The Wire) by name what's needed to get ink for the show. Doofenshmirtz smugly says he's not above creating a personalized video message that “blatantly panders for [the reporter's] attention” as the screen showcases the reporter's name in a message that reads, “How 'bout some press?”

Then come highlights from the series, in which two enterprising brothers find creative ways to spend their summer vacation time, much to the chagrin of their older sister and the obliviousness of their parents.

A Disney Channel spokesperson said Phineas and Ferb creators/producers Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh cheerfully aided in the production, adding that the channel's received “good feedback” from reporters who said their kids also enjoyed the unusual video advertisement.

OK. We fell for it. Doofenshmirtz can be very persuasive.

Roker Finds Dream Fit With Weather Channel Show

“Wuuwaa!” That's the rallying cry of The Weather Channel's newest morning-show duo, Al Roker and Stephanie Abrams, for their 6 a.m. weekday series Wake Up With Al Roker, launching today (July 20).

During a luncheon last week to promote the show, the longtime Today weatherman said he immediately wanted to find a role with Weather once NBC purchased the company earlier this year, because he had such great admiration for its coverage. He said his new show will be sort of The Weather Channel's version of Today — a show Roker stresses he will continue to appear in after his Wake Up on-camera day ends.

Wake Up will tap the news resources of sister outlets CNBC and NBC while utilizing the vast resources of TWC to give the latest up-to-date forecasts and other weather developments. “Everything you need to know to get you going in the morning [that] you're going to get quickly and concisely, but with a little more flair,” he said.

As for the Wuuwaa! call, Roker said it's derived from the initials of his show (WUWA) and may be heard on the show from time to time. The Wire warned you first.

R. Thomas Umstead
R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.