Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Family in name only

Ok, so first of all, let me get this out in the open. I am not a prude. I don’t care for shock for the sake of shock (yea you Janet Jackson) and I don’t find little kids cussing a la Talladega Nights funny. Other than that you are free to do what you want…..with exceptions.

Now my kids are grown and my youngest was warped a long time ago through forced watching, by me, of the Simpsons. I never could get into the sugary-sweetness of all this “family friendly” stuff but understand that it is important to some parents. So, if you are going to attach the word “family” to your channel then I think, you know, it should be….let me think here….oh, yea family type entertainment. Otherwise, lop of the word family and I will tell these folks to turn it off or use a V chip.

Note to Disney: There is an understanding out there in TV watching land that the word “family” implies a certain understanding that the content shown is designed for young children – tame, non-controversial, safe.

So there I am watching Funniest Home Videos with the “ABC Family” logo at the bottom of the screen. I hardly watch any TV, and it is usually with my wife using DVR so we can fast forward through the advertisements. But the “family” room TV has no such device. So like a mindless robot I sit there waiting for the show to start back up only to come face to face with:

“Monday March 23rd your new roommates are moving in! All aboard the love train! Four bedrooms, one bath, zero boundaries……”

Huh? On a “family” network?

Turns out that "ABC Family" started out first as the the “Family Channel,” which was started by Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). It was then sold to that bastion of good ol' Christian conservative values (Fox) News Corporation which changed the name to "Fox Family" This was then then sold to Disney owned ABC and renamed “ABC Family.”

Now “family” friendly Disney wanted to revamp this “family” cable channel to target a more hip audience of college students and young woman and went about changing the name to “XYZ” channel. Apparently, however, Pat Robinson stipulated in the sale of the Family Channel that the word “family” be in the name forever regardless of who owned the channel. To create XYZ channel would require the demise of the “family” channel along with terminating all existing cable TV contracts a risky move since cable companies are not obligated to put the new XYZ channel in the old “family” channel spot. So ABC gave up on the XYZ channel Idea.

What to do...what to do…….

Brilliant! Let’s make it a “new kind of family” and show whatever we want regardless of what that silly word “family” is considered by some parents to mean. Pat Robinson gets his word, ABC gets viewers, and Disney gets advertising bucks because a young hip audience is now watching.

At one time ol’ Walt would not let Annette Funicello where a two piece bathing suit in the Beach Blanket Bingo movies.

What a difference a “for only profit” corporation makes.

Caveat Emptor!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxGg4Cr_ADY (Roomates Promotion)

See Annette in a one piece! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk3ZN3dSeDk&feature=related

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