NBC Entertainment prez Brandon Tartikoff turned the promotion down, so the network's daytime programming veep, Brian Frons, took it: Frons will play God on an episode of "Santa Barbara" to air Feb. 21.
The scenario: Cowboy Sonny Sprocket (played by Lane Davies) is about to marry opportunist Gina Timmons (Robin Mattson) when he's gunned down by a hit man (Abe Vigoda). Sprocket has an out-of-body experience, lands in heaven and runs into, among others, the Almighty Himself.
The TV monitors there bear GBC (God's Broadcasting Co.) logos with peacocks and halos; there are even copies of Celestial Variety laying around.
Head writer Chuck Pratt said Tartikoff was the first choice of the producers ("God (should) be a network executive and heaven would be a system of owned and operated clouds"). Tartikoff reportedly had scheduling problems--his office said he had no comment--and Frons, 32, got the nod.
He'll get scale--$500--for his day's work.