Caught with their pants down

Nicollett_sheridanDesperate networks take desperate measures.

It’s probably no surprise that ABC walked into a wall with its Desperate Housewives nude gambit on Monday Night Football. This is, after all, the network that killed off its last hit, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, with a lame-brained idea that flew in the face of logic (in that case, running the show so often that it—and its viewers—died of exhaustion). Now we get Nicolette Sheridan, naked in front of Terrell Owens, throwing a lurid and ludicrous pass to open the MNF telecast.

How can an entity whose very survival depends on its ability to read the culture (such as Red-State, morality-based political power and the FCC’s “Fines, Not Fun” mentality) fail to notice that this idea might not—excuse the expression—come off well? The hit-starved, red-headed Disney stepchild may have been channeling Fox. Maybe it figured the righteous right doesn’t watch football. Maybe it figured the CEOs of those 20 ABC affiliates who refused to show Saving Private Ryan would be out to dinner on Monday night.

Or, since nobody’s singled out the Coors twins ads or Dallas Cowboys cheerleader crotch shots for stake-burning yet, ABC figured nobody would notice a little more soft porn in its telecast.

Memo to ABC: Next time you need a brilliant idea for a Monday Night Football opener, get Lost.

–Posted by Jack Feuer