Jewish World Review April 22, 2004 / 1 Iyar, 5764
ABC execs admit aiding TV-turnoff week
Encouraged millions to stop watching, fired programmers reveal
Two just-fired executives of ABC Entertainment admitted today that they had used their positions to offer covert aid to the organizers of “TV-Turnoff Week,” in which millions of Americans are encouraged to turn off their televisions for one week.
In a bombshell that rocked the broadcast industry, the two executives, Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, admitted that every programming decision they had made for the past two years was with “TV-Turnoff Week” in mind.
“We wanted to create a slate of programming that would send millions of viewers reaching for their remotes,” Mr. Braun said in a prepared statement. “Seen in that light, our tenure running ABC Entertainment has been a resounding success.”
The organizers of “TV-Turnoff Week” praised Mr. Braun and Ms. Lyne for their “steadfast aid to the TV-Turnoff movement,” adding, “For those of us who live to see people turn off their televisions in droves, Lloyd and Susan will be sorely missed.”
At Disney, the parent company of ABC, CEO Michael Eisner was under fire for not detecting the two executives’ anti-TV activities sooner.
“They were obviously up to something,” said industry analyst Tara McSwain of Credit Suisse First Boston. “Eisner should’ve known something was fishy when they put that Geena Davis show on the air.”
In Washington, President Bush bestowed the Congressional Medal of Honor upon Mr. Braun and Ms. Lyne for their TV-turnoff heroics.
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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, a former president of the Harvard Lampoon, is a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author of the just released "Who Moved My Soap? The CEO's Guide to
Surviving in Prison and
"Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading" , "Rationalizations to Live By". Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
© 2004, Andy Borowitz