news digest


Fantasy Soap League woos subscribers

Through its cable channel SoapNet, Disney-ABC Television Group is launching Fantasy Soap League, an online game allowing soap fans to interact with their favorite shows and characters at, the company said Monday. The subscription service, which costs $9.99 for a renewable 10-week cycle, is modeled after fantasy football and rewards points to players when the soap stars on their fantasy teams perform well in the game of soaps. The object is to match top characters and moments with story lines from nine soap operas. has cartoon 'Forever'

Warner Bros. Advanced Digital Services is launching a cartoon programming block dubbed "Saturday Morning Forever" as part of the content offerings on the new, the company said Monday. Targeting teens and tweens, the initiative includes two hours of cartoon programming comprising classic Hanna-Barbera shorts along with new original content, screensavers and other content.

'Kiss' planted at Here! Films

Here! Films, the theatrical distribution and worldwide sales division of gay-oriented Here! Networks, has come on board director C. Jay Cox's "Kiss the Bride" to executive produce the film and oversee its worldwide distribution. Written by Ty Lieberman, the comedy stars Tori Spelling and James O'Shea as a couple about to get married when the prospective bridegroom's high school boyfriend, played by Philipp Karner, enters the picture. It will premiere next year in theaters and on Here!

Congdon adds voice to ABC digital news

NEW YORK ? Former host Amanda Congdon is joining ABC News Digital Media as a contributor, the network is expected to announce today. Congdon is a co-founder of Rocketboom, a video blog that she used to host. She recently began another video blog, AmandaAcrossAmerica, and is developing a comedy program for HBO. For ABC News Digital Media, she will create a video blog that will appear weekly on, and she is also scheduled to appear regularly on ABC's digital news channel, ABC News Now. The Los Angeles resident graduated from Northwestern University. She has appeared on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "The Restaurant."

Nordstrom adding CDs to its racks

Emulating Starbucks' successful sales of CDs, the Nordstrom department store chain is moving into the music business. The Seattle-based retailer will offer two exclusive CD titles ? a long-out-of-print anthology of Marvin Gaye's Motown hits and an introduction to singer-songwriter-pianist Jamie Cullum ? in Pacific Northwest and Southern California stores. Those outlets also will initially carry 16 nonexclusive titles by such acts as John Mayer, Beck, Justin Timberlake and the Killers; two exclusive holiday packages will be featured in 99 Nordstrom stores and online.

Cruise receiving mentor award

Tom Cruise will be honored at Mentor LA's inaugural LA's Promise Gala, to be held March 20 on the 20th Century Fox studio lot in Los Angeles. Mentor LA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing schools and neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The evening will be chaired by a roster of high-powered couples that includes Megan and Peter Chernin, Jill and Brad Grey, Paula Wagner and Rick Nicita and Florence and Harry Sloan.