Monday, November 22

Phoning It In - In honor of an especially excellent Desperate Housewives episode last night, I'm going to crib shamelessly from today's WSJ's "Morning Report," for a week-after perspective on last Monday's Nicollette Sheridan-Terrell Owens towel flap on MNF:

Despite Much Ado, Ratings Trump Morals

The hullabaloo over ABC's racy Desperate Housewives promotion ahead of Monday Night Football has brought the prime-time soap opera a wealth of publicity, including a cover article in the current issue of Newsweek. But that hasn't stopped Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter from commenting that "you would think we'd have better things to argue about." Mr. Alter describes "this little fiesta of hypocrisy, cynicism and fear" as a microcosm of the post-election moral-values debate. "There's Disney/ABC parading as a 'family entertainment' company while peddling casual sex, then 'apologizing' all the way to the bank; the NFL preposterously claiming it knew nothing about its own pregame show; Fox shouting" about liberals while airing an innuendo-filled line-up; "and finally the viewers themselves, decrying sex on TV even as they turn to it in droves."

As for the moral-values, red-state/blue-state question's effects on the rest of the media, executives at the four big broadcast networks and Hollywood studios said in interviews that "nightly television ratings bore little relation to the message apparently sent by a significant percentage of voters," the New York Times reports. Viewers from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City to New York to Birmingham, Ala., essentially choose the same shows. "And that means the election will have little impact on which shows they decide to put on television," those executives told the Times.

God, that must drive Donald Wildmon crazy. :-)