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Spike Spoils Spike TV Rebrand Launch

Spike Lee has temporarily prevented Viacom from relaunching its TNN channel as Spike TV in a branding campaign that was supposed to roll out June 16, 2003. The New York Supreme Court in Manhattan granted the filmmaker a preliminary injunction to stop the name change. Lee and his lawyer, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., argued that the network is trying to capitalize on his celebrity status and that he does not wish to be associated with male-oriented programming, which includes the upcoming adult animated series STRIPPERELLA and GARY THE RAT. Viacom is seeking an immediate stay of the injunction. "We respectfully disagree with the court's judgement, which we believe is not supported by the law or the evidence," according to a company statement. The hearing is scheduled for June 23, just three days before the new animated series are slated to debut. Lee must post a $500,000 bond to cover Viacom's expenses should he ultimately lose the case.