DIRECTV GIVES LIFE TO CANCELED SHOWS
DirecTV is planning to rescue at least three more critically well-received shows that were ditched by their networks after only a few episodes aired. The three are Smith, which originally aired on CBS in 2006, The Nine, which aired on ABC in 2006, and Eyes, which aired on ABC in 2005. "We're trying to see if there's high-quality content ... that we can associate with our brand that just gives people another reason to come to DirecTV and to not ever leave DirecTV," Eric Shanks, head of entertainment at DirecTV, told today's (Tuesday) New York Daily News. DirecTV's 101 Network went into the TV rescue business last year with NBC's Friday Night Lights in a deal that enabled the satellite-TV company to air a new season of shows first, before it went to NBC. In January, DirecTV began carrying Wonderland, which aired on ABC for just two weeks in 2000 before it was yanked. DirecTV rebroadcast the two original episodes, plus six more that were filmed but never shown.
NFL EXTENDS DEAL WITH DIRECTV, ANGERING CABLERS
The National Football League has extended its exclusive deal that allows DirecTV to air out-of-market games through the 2014 season. Cable systems, who have lobbied to be included in the deal, have called the deal with DirecTV a "monopoly." Terms of the new deal were not disclosed, but it is believed that DirecTV is currently paying the NFL $700 million annually for the package. The NFL also said that it plans to create a special online package for fans who are unable to receive DirecTV because their homes are blocked from line-of-sight access to the satellite or because they live in an apartment where the satellite dish cannot be mounted.
OBAMA ADDRESS TONIGHT WILL DISRUPT SWEEPS WEEK
President Obama plans a formal address to the nation tonight (Tuesday) concerning his economic recovery program, prompting a second major programming readjustment by the TV networks during the current sweeps month. Fox, for example, is moving tonight's scheduled performance episode of American Idol to Wednesday and Wednesday's results episode to Thursday. The move will alter the complexion of Thursday's lineup, which this week includes CBS's coverage of the NCAA finals.NBC is planning to move tonight's two-hour episode of Biggest Loser to 9:00 p.m. and preempt Law & Order: SVU. CBS is moving NCIS and The Mentalist one hour ahead and dropping Without a Trace. ABC plans to drop its Dancing With the Stars tonight.
FOX NEWS EXEC: WE'RE "THE VOICE OF OPPOSITION"
Despite the massive popularity of President Obama, Fox News Channel has seen a big boost in its ratings by acting, as one FNC executive put it, "the voice of opposition on some issues." In an interview with the Baltimore Sun TV columnist David Folkenflik that aired on NPR's All Things Considered, Fox News programming chief Bill Shine said that the network attempts to maintain a "balance" with its right-of-center commentators like Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity by inviting more liberal guests. But Fox News anchor Chris Wallace acknowledged that the channel is attempting to take a contrarian look at a popular president, noting, "On Fox News you've seen a lot of coverage of the question of, 'Are we headed down the road to socialism?'" Commented Folkenflik: "Newsweek had a cover article that posed much the same question -- but on Fox News it often seems more a cudgel than a question."
ABC's Dancing With the Stars continued to keep a lock on Monday-night ratings, averaging 20.02 million over its two hours, peaking in the final half hour with 21.03 million. The dance contest led into the third week of Castle, which placed second to CBS's long-running CSI Miami. The ABC drama was only able to retain 47 percent of Dancing's audience, and its final viewership result -- 9.81 million -- was more than a million behind last week's.
NIXON DENOUNCED ALL IN THE FAMILY
The liberal online news magazine Truthdig has uncovered a recording among the infamous White House tapes of former President Richard Nixon in which he denounces a 1970s' episode of Norman Lear's All in the Family that dealt with gay issues. Speaking to presidential assistant John Ehrlichman, Nixon remarks that he became so enraged by the episode that "I turned the goddamned thing off. I couldn't listen any more." But it is clear that he must have seen the entire show since he mentions some of its final scenes. In the recording, which includes an unexplained 14-second bleep, Nixon remarks, "The point that I make is that goddamnit, I do not think that you glorify on public television homosexuality. The reason you don't glorify it, John, anymore than you glorify whores. ... We all have weaknesses and so forth and so on, but goddamnit, what do you think that does to kids ... when they see that?" Later, Nixon says that he was angered by the show not on moral grounds. "Why it outrages me because I don't want to see this country go that way. ... You know what happened to the Greeks. Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure Aristotle was a homo, we all know that. So was Socrates, but he never had the influence that television had."