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FCC dubious about ‘docu’

MTM Television’s claim that “Rescue 911” is a documentary is prompting raised eyebrows at the Federal Communications Commission.

“People are skeptical” about MTM’s request to have the program declared a docu, said an FCC staffer.

“We don’t want to get in the business of calling reality programs documentaries,” the FCC source added.

MTM hopes to sell “911” as a strip series in the access slot beginning this fall. However, since the program is aired on CBS, there is concern that TV stations may run afoul of the FCC’s prime time access rule by carrying the program.

PTAR bars off-net reruns such as “911” from airing in access on web affils in the top 50 markets. Exceptions can be made if the programs qualify as news or documentaries. The Assn. of Independent Television Stations this week urged the FCC to reject MTM’s claim (Daily Variety, Feb. 9).

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