Last week’s ITRS panel on "The Rewards and Risks of Championing Pro-Social Values" started off like a Friar’s Club Roast, as panelists skewered newsmakers on both sides of the morality divide. Carl Folta, Viacom’s svp, corp relations, got the ball rolling by addressing the fate of the doyen of ‘do it yourself,’ saying you’ll never see Martha Stewart’s show on any Viacom nets. ("Obviously, the star will have moved on to other projects," he cracked). "As far as I know, we have no special policy regarding airing convicted felons," Volta said, adding Viacom dropped the show because of poor ratings and to avoid further controversy. But it was YES man Leo Hindery who really turned on the heat, calling out Michael Eisner and Dennis Kozlowski for their underlying lack of ethics. ("The crime isn’t that Eisner is a crappy manager, it’s that he took a billion dollars to be a crappy manager," Hindery deadpanned.) The tastemakers that develop cerebellum-withering reality fare came in for a stoning, too. "How does a show like ‘Fear Factor’ get on prime time?" Hindrey mused. "I think there should be a separate category for this kind of show. There’s sex, there’s violence, and then someone’s drinking worm juice." Ultimately, lowest common denominator programming may be the death of the industry, no matter how lucrative. "Tom DeLay and the Christian Right are just waiting in the woods to change the rules," Hindery warned. "A little self-constraint will be a lot more lucrative than a world in which Tom DeLay calls the shots." — A Stern Talking To: Though he’s not on Hindery’s hit parade, what happens to Howard Stern could prove Leo’s thesis. Clear Channel’s decision to yank Stern from its outlets underscores how quickly distributors are moving to clean up the airwaves. Stern expects to get the entire hook; when that happens, he’ll jump to satellite radio. "They’ll get 12mln orders for tuners the 1st day," he predicts. "They won’t be able to keep up with the demand." Highlights "Inside the Actors Studio: Barbra Streisand," Sun, 8pm, Bravo. It took 10 years and Donna Karan to realize host James Lipton’s dream of interviewing Babs. The result is worth the wait. — "Pat Sajak’s A.L. Ballparks Tour," tomorrow, 9pm, Travel. How can we ‘diss’ a show that begins at Oriole Park, especially when it notes (correctly) that a men’s room window in the adjoining warehouse provides a great view of the field? — "Video Game Invasion," Sun, 9pm, GSN. An interesting history of video games. — "The Last King," Sun, 8pm, A&E. Excellent drama about Britain’s last true king. Worth a Look "Deadwood," Sun, 10pm, HBO. HBO’s new western is like "The Sopranos" with horses; or like an understandable "Carnivale" with mud instead of dust. Truthfully, it’s darker than both and the language would offend Tony Soprano, still, it’s compelling.—"My Sexiest Mistake," tomorrow, 8pm, Oxygen. Finally, an original film that lasts 1 hr; darned good effort, too. — "Going to the Mat," tonight, 8pm, Disney. A curveball: the protagonist is not your usual Disney character, still the film works. — "The System: Reasonable Fear," Thurs, 10pm, Court TV. Interesting look at a woman who faces down Hollywood stalkers. — "Most Amazing Moments," Nat Geo, Sun, 9pm. Terrific camerawork, but a bit violent. — "It’s Good to Be Beyonce," Sun, 10pm, E! Certainly is.

The Daily


DirecTV’s Thun Argues Broadcast Model Must Change or Risk Extinction

We caught up with DirecTV Chief Content Officer Rob Thun to find out how serious the distributor is with its alternative retrans proposals and how long this blackout with TEGNA might last.

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