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TV Bulletin Board (Aug. 27)

Aussie import "Dicko" Dickson and the lil' dicks from South Park.

***What's a "Dicko" Dickson?

For the record, the "bawdy" judge from Australian Idol goes by the fuller name of Ian "Dicko" Dickson. But in Fox's wildest dreams, he'll be seen as a bigger dick than Simon Cowell shortly after the network launches The Next Great American Band. He's already been voted "Fave Old Fart" and "Fave Meanie" by Australia's version of Nickelodeon. That should count for something.

Dicko will join Sheila E. and Goo Goo Dolls lead singer/guitarist John Rzeznik as arbiters on the American Idol spinoff, which premieres on Friday, Oct. 19th. The show's host is another foreigner, New Zealander Dominic Bowden. He prepped by hosting that country's version of American Idol.

It's become clear, of course, that you can't have an American talent competition without a caustic imported judge. Besides, Cowell, there's Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli (ABC's Dancing with the Stars); Piers Morgan (NBC's America's Got Talent); Nigel Lythgoe (Fox's So You Think You Can Dance); Peter Jones (ABC's American Inventor) and Gordon Ramsay (judge, jury and executioner on Fox's Hell's Kitchen and the upcoming Kitchen Nightmares).

***Comedy Central has renewed South Park for three more seasons and also signed a long-term development deal with the show's creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker. It includes the formation of a digital studio that will extend South Park's reach well beyond that cobwebbed thing in your living room known as a television.

"Since Trey and I are in charge of the digital side of South Park, we can offend people on their cell phones, game consoles and computers, too," Stone said in a statement. "It's all very exciting for us."

***Nielsen Media Research says it is putting Spanish language programming on an "equal playing field" with English language TV by using the same National People Meter panel. In doing so, it's retiring a separate National Hispanic People Meter measuring system that's been used since 1992.

Nielsen notes that since the 1992-93 season the number of Hispanic viewers in the U.S. has gone from 22.2 million to 38.9 million, (9 to 14 percent of the total population).