PTC DEMANDING FCC FINE NBC FOR EMMY REMARKS

L. Brent Bozell's Parents Television Council, which has spearheaded the campaign against indecent language on television, has demanded that the FCC fine NBC for not censoring the comments by actresses Helen Mirren and Calista Flockhart during Sunday's Primetime Emmy Awards telecast. Both had expressed concerns about falling "tits over ass" as they came up the stairs. Calling the common British colloquialism "vulgar and obscene," Bozell said Thursday, "It is utterly irresponsible and atrocious for NBC to air this vulgar language during the safe harbor time [before 10:00 p.m.] when millions of children were in the viewing audience." The phrase was not bleeped during the live broadcast in the East and Midwest nor on the delayed broadcast in the West. While a common Britishism, it is sometimes abbreviated as TOA in polite company, as in, "I got out of the taxi and fell TOA on the slippery street."

NBC'S WILLIAMS ATTACKED RIGHT AND LEFT

NBC anchor Brian Williams said Thursday that he was "taken aback" by the overwhelmingly negative response to his interview this week with President Bush. Writing in his TheDailyNightly blog, Williams said that 70 percent of his emails were critical of the interview, while only 30 percent were positive, with many of the negative emailers agreeing with commentator Rush Limbaugh's assessment that his questioning was disrespectful and unprofessional. "Asking tough questions is one thing, but I am constitutionally unable to be disrespectful around the President of the United States," Williams wrote (referring to his psychological constitution, rather than the law of the land). However, the conservative website NewsBusters ("Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias") charged that the interview had made Williams "a hero of the loony left." The interview was also criticized by liberal bloggers. MediaMatters accused Williams of allowing the president "to make false and misleading assertions."

FAKE TV DOCUMENTARY DEATH OF A PRESIDENT PRAISED, PANNED

A controversial British film titled Death of a President, which takes place in the not-too-distant future and revolves around the assassination of President Bush in 2007 is due to have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 10, the film's producers, Britain's Channel 4, announced Thursday. The film, which resembles an actual documentary, had previously been listed by the festival as '"D.O.A.P.". Gretchen Essell, spokeswoman for the Republican Party in Texas, told the British wire service Press Association, "I cannot support a video that would dramatize the assassination of our president, real or imagined. ... I find this shocking, I find it disturbing. I don't know if there are many people in America who would want to watch something like that." But Peter Dale, head of Channel 4's digital channel More4, which plans to air the film on Oct. 9, said: "It's a pointed political examination of what the War on Terror did to the American body politic. ... It's not sensationalist or simplistic but a very thought-provoking, powerful drama. I hope people will see that the intention behind it is good."

NIELSEN REVISES RACIAL DEMOGRAPHICS

Nielsen Research on Thursday revised its estimates for the number of Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American TV households. The ratings giant said that while there was rapid growth of ethnic populations in numerous smaller markets, there was little change in the top ten. For the first time, Houston entered the top ten in Asian-American households, overtaking Boston. New York had the largest number of African-American TV homes -- 1,292,420. (Chicago, second on the list, had fewer than half that number.) Los Angeles had the largest number of Hispanic (1,741,860) and Asian (633,810) TV homes.

MTV VIDEO AWARDS SHOW BOOED BY CRITICS

Thursday night's MTV Music Video Awards show was being roundly panned by TV critics and bloggers alike today. "Somewhere along the way, the MTV Awards seemed to have morphed into the Grammys," Nekesa Mumbi Moody of the Associated Press wrote. Several writers singled out host Jack Black's remark during a skit in which he looked at himself in his dressing-room mirror and remarked, "You didn't bring the thunder. You didn't bring anything."

JOHN MADDEN, SUPERSTAR

Equaling opening-week box office sales for some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters, the video football game Madden NFL 07 grossed more than $100 million in its first week, publisher Electronic Arts said Thursday. The figure represents more than 2 million copies of the game sold. It is also expected to redound to the benefit of NBC, which hired John Madden as a color commentator for its Sunday Night Football telecasts.

CBS SHIFTS RATHER TRIBUTE OUT OF SIGHT

In what today's (Friday) Los Angeles Times headlined as "CBS' Final Dis to The Dan," CBS will not air its "tribute" to Dan Rather (Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers) on its two primary stations tonight. The Times said that because of NFL football games airing tonight, the Rather broadcast will be carried by the CBS-owned KCAL, instead of KCBS-TV, the primary CBS station and the station that carried Rather's nightly newscast. The documentary is not scheduled to air in New York at all, the newspaper said. Meanwhile, Rather's "interim" replacement, Bob Schieffer, wrapped up a year and a half of anchoring The CBS Evening News Thursday night, receiving a tribute himself from Katie Couric, who takes over the anchor's desk next Tuesday. Afterwards, Schieffer commented, "Most people don't get to hear things like that said about them until their funeral. I'm really glad I got to hear that one." Rather's name didn't come up.

CNN ANCHOR TAKES BATHROOM HUMOR TO LETTERMAN SHOW

CNN anchor Kyra Phillips, whose voice was inadvertently broadcast from a CNN bathroom as she chatted with a friend during a speech by President Bush this week, turned up on David Letterman's show Thursday night, where she read a top-10 list of excuses for what occurred. Among them: "10. Still haven't mastered complicated on/'off switch; ... 5. I was set up by those bastards at Fox News; ... 4. Like you've never gone to the bathroom and had it broadcast on national television; 1. You have to admit, it made the speech a lot more interesting."

Brian B.