Fox Broadcasting Co. is offering its affiliates a “free lunch” in the form of nine previously aired movies that affiliates can use on Tuesdays until the network is ready to launch its own fare that night.Fox had planned on launching its Tuesday-night schedule Oct. 27 but recently announced it was delaying the lineup until December or January, citing promotion concerns (Daily Variety, Sept. 28). Fearing the short notice may have left its affiliates short in terms of replacement programming, the weblet said earlier this week it was offering them “a genuine bona fide free lunch from the network that loves you.” Fox will provide the movies on an optional basis for stations in need of programming until it launches Tuesday night and, as an added bonus, will give all ad time within the movies to stations. The only restriction is that the movies must be cleared in the pattern in which they are fed to affiliates. Meanwhile, Fox is gearing up for a full attack on the Big Three on election night, Nov. 3, offering a comedy block of “The Simpsons,””Martin,””In Living Color” and “The Edge” as counter-programming to election returns. Fox is touting the night as a potential ratings record-breaker — having enjoyed strong numbers opposite network simulcasting of the Republican and Democratic conventions–and vowed to “promote the devil” out of it with print and on-air spots. Each of the programs will carry election updates, and local stations may cover two of the four 60-second spots during the two-hour block with local election information. Fox talent will host the evening, and the weblet is giving affils a 50/50 split on ad time. The Tuesday movie titles, all repeats, include “License to Drive” on Oct. 27, followed by the pilot for “Blood Ties,””Poltergeist III” and “Live! From Death Row” Nov. 10-24, during the November sweeps. Also being offered in the feeds are “Pink Lightning,””Seeds of Tragedy,””Bad Attitudes,””Say Anything” and “Cocoon: The Return.” That schedule should carry affils through December, although the network told stations the schedule may be lengthened or shortened depending on progress toward launch of the Tuesday lineup.
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