Soul Food for Thought
Very Licensed Products
In Brief

Viacom Consumer Products is extending several of its African-American television series into books. "[Viacom subsidiary] Paramount is the single largest supplier of African-American TV programming," said Risa Kessler, Viacom's publishing representative. "We've all been spending a lot of time on the African-American properties, thinking about the right way to merchandise them."

The studio is launching original novel programs—written by noted African-American authors—for two of its dramas, Soul Food (seen on Showtime) and Girlfriends (UPN), with Pocket Books and iBooks, respectively. The Soul Food program starts this month, followed by Girlfriends in early 2003. Viacom is also developing publishing for the comedies The Parkers and One on One (both on UPN).