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CART will develop a one-hour action adventure show with Newman-Haas Racing, movie/TV producer Neil Russell and his partner Peter Kuyper, which will use the CART FedEx Series as the background, according to the AP's Mike Harris. The show, "which will feature a fictional third Newman-Haas entry," is scheduled for a fall '99 start. Russell, who created and produces the syndicated program "SOF (Soldier of Fortune): Special Ops Force," said that he plans to take the show "directly to syndication on a market-by-market basis, rather than trying to sell it to a network or cable channel." Casting has not yet begun (AP/SPEEDNET, 11/1). CHANNEL SURFING: In Indy, Bill Koenig reported that the IRL "remains without" a TV deal for '99, "more than two months" after the IMS "had hoped" to finalize one. IMS VP John Newcomb: "We're still negotiating actively with several networks. We think we're getting close" (STAR-NEWS, 10/30).
FRIGHT NIGHT? HBO Sports President Seth Abraham, asked whether Prince Naseem Hamed, who won a decision over Wayne McCullough on Saturday, is a fighter or showman: "He's both. He is what he is. We knew what we were getting when we bought his fights. He hasn't shown us anything that's been a surprise." Abraham, on whether Hamed's performance against McCullough was "disappointing": "Disappointment is relative. A fighter has three audiences -- the media, the boxing community and the fans. They're not always interested in the same things" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 11/2). In N.Y., Timothy Smith writes that Hamed's performance was "unsatisfactory" in the eyes of the crowd of 8,138 at the Atlantic City Convention Center (N.Y. TIMES, 11/2). OTHER NOTES: Yankees manager Joe Torre is writing a motivational book tentatively titled "Ground Rules for Winners." Writer Henry Dreher is writing the book with Torre, who may "fetch a six-figure contract." Other Yankees players pitching books include Orlando Hernandez, Derek Jeter and Darryl Strawberry (Keith Kelly, N.Y. POST, 11/1). ...The basketball novel "Homecourt Advantage" is in its third printing. Author Rita Ewing: "We've been very surprised at its success." In Chicago, Carol Slezak reported that actor Wesley Snipes "has gobbled up the television and movie rights" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/1). NOTE: In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich questions how Canada's CBC can "continue to live with [Hockey Night In Canada co-host] Don Cherry's incessant attacks on selected ethnic groups? ... How can the CBC give Cherry valuable time to denigrate Europeans and French-Canadians?" The "latest in a string of bigoted remarks" saw Cherry refer to a fan dressed in a fairy godmother costume for Halloween as "the latest Swedish import." Zelkovich calls it "sad ... that the CBC continues to defend his actions by pointing to his high ratings, as if that somehow justified it all. The CBC should be ashamed of itself" (TORONTO STAR, 11/2).