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No 'Seinfeld' for Eli? Jerry to the rescue following TV prank

MILWAUKEE -- For a show that was about nothing, the hubbub around it has certainly turned into something.

A Green Bay television station decided to have some fun this week after employees discovered that Giants quarterback Eli Manning's favorite show is Seinfeld. Station officials decided to pull the episode scheduled for Saturday afternoon and replace it with a different program chosen by viewers.

Manning and his New York teammates will be in town to play the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game Sunday afternoon.

News of WLUK-TV's decision apparently reached Jerry Seinfeld himself.

"I'm going to send Eli a complete collection of Seinfeld DVDs and a partial collection of 'Hogan's Heroes' for inspiration," the comedian told the New York Post on Thursday.

"You think I'm going to take that sitting down?"

Jay Zollar, the FOX station's general manager, laughed when he heard of Seinfeld's response. Zollar joked that the offer actually plays into the station's master plan of preventing Manning from being master of the domain on Sunday.

"Now he (Manning) will be up all night watching Seinfeld -- there will be no sleep for you," he said, parodying the Soup Nazi episode in which a server admonishes noncompliant customers with, "No soup for you!"

Manning said Friday the whole affair was amusing.

"Yeah, it's pretty funny," he said. "You've got to enjoy it."

Manning added that he already has the entire Seinfeld collection.

"I've seen every episode anyway, so I'm not going to miss anything on it," he said. "Again, you take it all in, you smile at it and you don't really give it a lot of thought."

A message from The Associated Press relayed to Seinfeld's publicist through his lawyer was not immediately returned Friday.

The station let viewers vote on the show to replace the pulled Seinfeld episode.

Of about 3,700 votes cast, some 60 percent were for a 30-minute special about former Packers coach Vince Lombardi called God, Family and the Green Bay Packers.

The other choices included a rerun of The Donald Driver Show from Monday, MASH* and an infomercial starring former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith.

The pre-empted Seinfeld episode is "The Mango" from Season 5. In the show Cosmo Kramer gets booted from a fruit store for trying to return a bad peach, George Costanza suffers impotence, yada yada yada.

Zollar said most people realized his station's move was in jest, but some thought the station should be treating the Giants better.

"Some people think we're mean," he said. "Some say we're not welcoming, that we should be gracious hosts, we should invite them in and be nice to their quarterback."

He said he doesn't understand how people could interpret the move as a sincere attempt at sabotage.

"Obviously, Eli coming to Green Bay, coming to watch a TV show at 5:30 p.m. the night before the game, it's pretty unlikely," he said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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