‘Survivor 2’ Ads: $12 Million

Visa, General Motors, Anheuser-Bush and Frito-Lay are paying some $12 million each to sponsor CBS’ “Survivor: The Australian Outback,” which makes its debut on Jan. 28 after Super Bowl XXXV. That’s three times the amount advertisers paid to sponsor the original “Survivor.” WE LOVE BRITNEY AND ‘N SYNC! Nickelodeon will air exclusive interviews with Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore on Thursday as “Nick News Special Edition: Kids Pick the President,” Daily Variety reports today. Linda Ellerbee presided over the interviews with the two major presidential candidates.

HENSON TRADITION WAGES ON: Variety also reports that Brian Henson, chairman of the Jim Henson Co., will make his TV miniseries directing debut with “Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story” for CBS. Production is slated to begin in London within the next few months.

RETURN TO ‘PRETENDER’: TNT is airing two TV movies that will resolve the cliffhanger season finale of “The Pretender,” the four-year-old series starring Michael T. Weiss that was axed by NBC, according to Variety. The movies serve to cross-promote reruns of the show, also on TNT.