By Kristen Baldwin and Megan Quitkin
Updated August 20, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

KARATE KIDDIES Sorry, Teletubbies, but you’ve lost your ”weirdest kids’ show” mantle. The new titleholder is Adventures With Kanga Roddy, about a marsupial martial artist who teaches kids good values by singing happy songs (voiced by Starship frontman Mickey Thomas) in the land of Hi-yah. The Karate Kid’s own Mr. Miyagi, Pat Morita, dispenses some wax-on wax-off wisdom as a wise bookseller. The bizarro quotient continues off screen: Ex-football greats Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott serve as exec producers. ”It’s very difficult to accurately describe the kind of program this is,” says Morita. ”You really have to see it.” Kanga Roddy, which debuted in April 1998, airs in 41 percent of the nation and continues to add markets. But this kiddie acid trip almost did not come together; Morita initially rejected the role of Uncle Pat. ”I really wanted to stay away from anything that had to do with karate,” he says. ”I’m not a karate man, I’m an actor. [But] I go through airports and everybody’s doing the crane stance. I guess it’s the price of fame.” — Kristen Baldwin

AZURE THING Forget what the fashionistas are saying about orange being this fall’s must-have hue: According to Hollywood, blue is the color of the day. Besides killer sharks frolicking in the Deep Blue Sea, Hugh Grant hits multiplexes Aug. 20 in the Mob comedy Mickey Blue Eyes. Earlier this year, the teen drama Desert Blue kicked off the trend. Coming soon: Martin Lawrence as a fast-talking cop impersonator in Blue Streak, and also an animated Japanese thriller due this fall called Perfect Blue. (If things keep up, look for Stephen King’s movie to be renamed The Blue Mile.) So why has Hollywood gone blue? Mostly coincidence. But producers could also be picking up on a broader trend. ”It gives people a sense of permanency and tranquillity,” says Lisa Herbert, a senior VP of the color-reference firm Pantone. In fact, ”we’re predicting that blue will be the color of the millennium.” Sounds like a not-so-rosy future. — Megan Quitkin

ETC. Streakers, rejoice. Starting next month, Ford Motor Co. will launch a series of at least 50 live — yes, live — commercials to hype its new Ford Focus. The spots, to be hosted by Annabelle Gurwitch of TBS’ Dinner & a Movie, will kick off Sept. 9 during the MTV Video Music Awards. The concept has yet to be worked out. ”Annabelle might drive one of the performers to the show,” says Ford marketing manager Jan Klug, ”or she might do an errand for someone who forgot something.” As for streakers and other sabotage-minded fans, Klug shrugs: ”We do have security measures. But sabotage would be kind of fun, wouldn’t it?”