Alltel helps make 'Evil' votes count


In its first sponsorship deal for text message voting, Comedy Central has partnered with Alltel Wireless to allow viewers to weigh in on the network's new debate show, "Lewis Black's Root of All Evil," premiering March 12.

Alltel is sponsoring all eight episodes of the show, is running ads and will have its logo and animated phone graphic depicted in two in-show bumpers. Viewers will vote for the pop culture person or institution they think is more evil after it is debated by comedians on that night's episode.

Black, the show's host and moderator, will make his own ruling during the taped episode, but viewers' text message poll results will be displayed in real time at the end of the show. Debate topics include Oprah Winfrey vs. the Catholic Church and Paris Hilton vs. Dick Cheney.

"Launching a new show in today's TV environment is so incredibly competitive that the more the audience can have a personal stake in the series, the better," said David Sacks, the show's co-creator and co-executive producer.

Comedy Central said Alltel did not have to pay additional fees for the 15-second in-show bumpers and graphics, which were provided as added value for Alltel, a major advertiser on Comedy Central.