×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Powell wraps FCC into ABC-NFL promo

Web could be slapped with a fine for indecency

NEW YORK — ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” promo, featuring the seduction of a Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver by star Nicolette Sheridan in Monday’s NFL telecast, has raised the ire of FCC chairman Michael Powell.

In an on-air interview with CNBC’s Alan Murray on Wednesday, Powell accused ABC of producing programming that’s “hot and steamy in order to get financial gains and the free advertising it provides.”

An FCC spokesman said the commission has received numerous emails and phone calls disapproving of the scene. The next step for the commission is to request a tape of the material from ABC.

If the commission finds the complaint is valid, it could begin an investigation into whether ABC has crossed the boundary of good taste and should be slapped with a fine for indecency.

In the vignette, which ABC Sports put together to cross-promote both “Monday Night Football” and its hit primetime comedy/drama “Desperate Housewives,” Sheridan, draped in nothing but a bath towel, vamps wide receiver Terrell Owens in the Eagles’ locker room. He resists until she sheds the towel and falls into his arms.

ABC had no comment on Powell’s critique. On Tuesday, ABC said, “We apologize” for what the network called an “inappropriate” scene. But ABC’s apology was triggered more by its sensitivity to the wrath of the National Football League than to that of the FCC. The NFL put out its own statement Tuesday decrying the Sheridan spot as “unsuitable for our ‘Monday Night Football’ audience.”

The contract between the NFL and ABC/ESPN for both Monday night and Sunday night games is up for renewal, and delicate negotiations are under way.

ABC is a division of Disney, and Powell had the last word about the Sheridan/Owens tape: “I wonder if Walt Disney would be proud.”

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More TV

  • Televisa Sets Development Pact With Mexico's

    Televisa Sets Development Pact With Mexico's Endemol Shine Boomdog (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Televisa and Endemol Shine have inked a new pact for content development, cementing a long-standing relationship of 17 years. Mexico City-based Endemol Shine Boomdog, run by CEO Alejandro Rincon, and Televisa Studios will co-produce a slew of original scripted and unscripted series for the Hispanic markets of Mexico, the U.S. and the rest of [...]

  • Tamron Hall

    NATPE Briefs: Tamron Hall Adds Stations, HBO Grabs 'Post,' Grammys Set Sales

    The new Disney-distributed talk show fronted by Tamron Hall has reached the 70% national clearance threshold now that stations from Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Broadcasting, Cox and Meredith have signed on for the topical talker. Hall, the former “Today” anchor, is making the rounds at NATPE on Tuesday in preparation for the show’s fall launch. [...]

  • Super Bowl LI Tom Brady

    Marijuana Advertiser Sees Super Bowl Dreams Go Up in Smoke

    Here’s a lesson for the nation’s burgeoning medical-marijuana market: You may be growing, but you can’t bogart that Super Bowl commercial. Acreage Holdings, a company that works to make marijuana available to adults for medical and/or recreational use where legal, is hoping to spark a haze of publicity by noting CBS declined to run a [...]

  • Beta Sells Alex Pina’s Movistar +

    Beta Film Rolls Out Alex Pina, Esther Martinez Lobato’s ‘The Pier’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI  — Clinching more deals on one of Mipcom’s highest-profile premieres, Beta Film has closed early major territory sales on Movistar + Original “El Embarcadero” (“The Pier”), Alex Pina and Esther Martínez-Lobato’s follow-up to Netflix phenomenon “La casa de papel” (“Money Heist”), identified by the streaming giant in its first-quarter results last April as its [...]

  • Blue Ant Locks Down International Deals

    NATPE: Blue Ant Locks Down International Deals for British ‘Prison’ Series

    The sales arm of Blue Ant has closed a raft of programming deals with international channels, including for British series “Prison,” as the NATPE market gets underway in Miami. Blue Ant International has sold “Prison,” the factual series about life inside a jail in Durham, England, to multiple territories. Germany’s WELT, Belgium’s VRT, Norway’s TV2, [...]

  • NBCU Cooks Up Brazil Deal for

    NATPE: NBCU Cooks Up Brazil Deal for ‘Top Chef’

    Brazilian network Record is adding “Top Chef” to its menu. The popular cooking competition format is on NBCUniversal’s Bravo in the U.S. where it is in its sixteenth season. The format deal with Record will take the number of international remakes of the show to 24. Recent deals include with ProSiebenSat.1 in Germany. NBCUniversal’s International [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content