NBC’s British import “Coupling,” which has been called a sexier version of “Friends,” debuts Thursday, but at least two affiliates-Bonneville International’s KSL-TV in Salt Lake City and University of Notre Dame-owned WNDU-TV in South Bend, Ind.-have opted not to carry the racy comedy. WNDU management previewed the first episode and declared it “little more than a collection of crude sex jokes … that pushed the envelope well beyond the boundaries of our community standards.” NBC said in a statement: “This show was reviewed by NBC Standards and Practices and was considered appropriate for broadcast on the network. It is unfortunate that not everyone will have the opportunity to make their own viewing decision.” NBC is seeking alternative outlets in blacked-out markets, sources said.
NBC Unveils Antidote to channel surfing
NBC’s “One-Minute Movie” series, designed to keep viewers watching during commercial breaks, debuts Thursday during the supersized season premiere of “Will & Grace.” The first of the original one-minute movies to air, from John Wells Productions and director Paris Barclay, will feature “The Pussycat Dolls,” starring Carmen Electra as a Pussycat Doll performer attempting to trade the rhinestones on her costume for real diamonds. The movie was written by Joe Voci and Steven Antin and directed by Mr. Antin.
Beaming satellite to D.C.
The Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association will present its 2003 Retailer Rally: Sending Our Signal to the Hill, beginning Tuesday, in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington. The event will feature business and networking sessions as well as presentations from satellite industry leaders, including DirecTV’s Eddy Hartenstein and EchoStar/DISH Net’s Charlie Ergen. There will also be discussion of the group’s legislative and regulatory agenda, and lobbying visits to Capitol Hill.