NEW CABLE PROGRAMMING ADDRESSES TOUGH SOCIAL ISSUES


Pasadena, CA --
As cable networks conclude five days of program previews today at the Television Critics Association’s (TCA) Press Tour, the array of featured drama series, original movies, news programs and documentary specials once again confirm cable’s position as a leader in providing thought-provoking, issue-oriented programming.

Cable programmers explore issues in a more in-depth manner that’s unique to our medium," said NCTA President & CEO Robert Sachs. "The line-up presented at this week’s TCA Tour provides ample evidence that cable continues to offer viewers a wide variety of enriching programs that cast a light on the most timely, and often controversial, issues of the day."

Following is a sampling of the new programs highlighted on this week’s tour:

  • TV Land introduced the latest episode of its reoccurring series Inside TV Land, (African Americans in TV), which explores efforts throughout history to give African-Americans a voice and a presence on television.


  • Comedy Central presented The Heroes of Black Comedy, a documentary series that celebrates the most influential contemporary African American comedians and their impact on the world of show business.


  • WE: Women’s Entertainment’s When I Was a Girl, executive-produced by journalist Linda Ellerbee, examines the shared experiences of all girls while recounting unique milestones in the lives of celebrity women.


  • Married in America, produced for A&E Network, offers a two-hour, in-depth look into the lives of nine, soon-to-be-wed couples of diverse ethnic and demographic backgrounds.


  • HBO’s movie, The Laramie Project, addresses a community’s efforts to overcome hate and prejudice after the tragic murder of Matthew Shepard, a homosexual, in Laramie, WY.


  • Showtime introduced 10,000 Black Men Named George, a true-life movie account of black organizer A. Phillip Randolph, an early champion of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1920’s and 1930’s.


  • HBO’s documentary special, Monica in Black and White, offers a forum for Monica Lewinsky to freely express her side of the scandal that bears her name.


  • Lifetime movie, We Were the Mulvaneys, focuses on a close-knit, small-town family that is torn apart when the only daughter is raped.


  • Court TV movie, Guilt By Association, focuses on the impact that mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws have on a woman and her family.


  • Discovery Channel’s Blue Planet: Seas of Life examines the Earth’s fragile marine environment.


  • Court TV’s series Power, Privilege and Justice examines high-profile cases where crime, money and justice intersect, and particularly, how wealth influences justice.


  • Showtime’s Street Time, a gritty, hard-edged drama series, offers a raw and realistic look at the Federal Parole System from the perspective of both parole officers and parolees.


  • HBO’s documentary In Memoriam: September 11, 2001, New York City, narrated by former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Guiliani, takes an up-close and personal look at the terrorist attacks – often relying on film shot by New York citizens.


  • Inside the Pentagon, a special produced for National Geographic Channel, features exclusive footage of the innerworkings of the Pentagon in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack.


  • MTV will tape its first-ever international global youth forum special in February, featuring Secretary of State Colin Powell, who will address youths’ concerns about terrorism, post-September 11.


  • CNN demonstrated its continued commitment to international news reporting through programs such as NewsNight with Aaron Brown and American Morning with Paula Zahn.


  • Former New York City Mayor Guiliani recognized the power of cable’s programming achievements when he commended HBO for its documentary In Memoriam by saying of the events of September 11, "[S]ince the time that it happened, like all of you, I’ve looked at books, and I’ve looked at television footage. ...This is much more powerful—this much more conveys what if felt like to be in the middle of it, particularly those big clouds rushing through the canyons of the city."

    Among well-known personalities who this week answered critics’ questions about cable programming were: Alec Baldwin, Pat Benatar, Chevy Chase, Diahann Carroll, Michael Chiklis, Dominick Dunne, Daisy Fuentes, the Honorable Rudolph W. Giuliani, Robert Guilliaume, Peter Krause, Monica Lewinsky, Anthony Michael Hall, Bill O’Reilly, Mercedes Ruehl, Donald Sutherland, Cicely Tyson, and Paula Zahn. Additionally, Beau Bridges, Tammy Blanchard, Neve Campbell, Blythe Danner, Laura Dern, Charles S. Dutton, Jeremy Irons, Luke Perry, and Mario Van Peebles, were scheduled to appear during Friday’s sessions.

    NCTA is the principal trade association of the cable television industry in the United States. NCTA represents cable operators serving more than 90 percent of the nation's cable television households and more than 200 cable program networks, as well as equipment suppliers and providers of other services to the cable industry.

    # # #