July 08, 2003 08:51 AM

“Do the Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever” director Spike Lee and communications giant Viacom Inc. have put to rest a legal fight over the company’s plans to rename its TNN cable network “Spike TV,” reports Reuters.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Walter Tolub on Monday lifted the order he had issued last month preventing Viacom from moving ahead with the re-branding, as it is called.

Lee’s attorney, Terry Gross, would only say that “the case is settled,” while a TNN spokesman said, “We are very happy with the outcome and we are issuing a joint statement Tuesday.”

Lee, 46, had reportedly taken action because of fears that the new network — which aims to appeal to men as the Lifetime network is geared to women — would be erroneously associated with him.

Lee’s lawyer, Johnnie Cochran, argued that a network calling itself Spike TV would cause his client irreparable injury by associating “an acclaimed artist’s name” with the “demeaning, vapid and quasi-pornographic content of ‘Spike TV.’ ”

Last month, Viacom lawyers told the appeals court that Lee’s initial injunction to date had cost the company $16.8 million, and ultimately could cost them up to $42 million should Spike TV not be allowed to launch.

TNN had offered reruns of “Star Trek,” “Baywatch” and “Miami Vice,” while the “new, improved” Spike TV delivers such new programs as the racy animated series “Stripperella” (featuring the voice of Pamela Anderson), “Gary the Rat” (Kelsey Grammer’s voice), and “The Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon.”

You May Like