- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2008

P&G; eyes BET, MTV

Procter & Gamble, one of the nation’s largest advertisers, is soliciting input from consumers to decide whether it should continue advertising on MTV and BET.

According to Multichannelnews.com, the household-goods company is taking calls at a toll-free 800 number. Once they dial, callers are advised they have two choices regarding advertising on the two cable networks: Press 1 if they want P&G; to make changes in its advertising or press 2 to indicate support for continued advertising on the networks. Input will be forwarded to the proper P&G; executives, the recording indicates.

P&G; is being criticized by Enough Is Enough, an advocacy group partnering with the Parents Television Council, which released a report on April 10 asserting that programs on the network are “bombarding” youth with music videos larded with sex, violence and profanity. PTC singles out BET’s “Rap City” and “106 & Park” along with MTV’s “Sucker Free” for its toughest criticism. The group, in its study, says that these music-video shows depict sex, violence or other profane images every 38 seconds on average.

Enough Is Enough was formed in September to fight images on television that objectify women as sex objects, promote stereotypes of minorities as thugs and drug dealers and depict other negative images. The group also has criticized Procter & Gamble, labeling the corporation as hypocritical for promoting a marketing effort called “My Black Is Beautiful,” which affirms the inner and outer beauty of black women while it advertises on the targeted music-video shows.

‘Farmer’ needs a life

Arriving in time for the May sweeps, the CW’s “Farmer Wants a Wife” (premiering at 9 tonight) unfortunately will square off against ratings titan “American Idol” in its network debut.

A brave move, for sure. Yet all the moxie in the world (and “Idol” aside) probably won’t have audiences tuning in each week.

The reality series — also produced by “Idol’s” parent company, Fremantle Media North America and already a hit in several European countries — is a sort of “Green Acres” meets “The Bachelor.” It features 10 big-city women vying for the affections of hunky Matt Neustadt, 29, a real-life, bona fide farmer from Portage Des Sioux, Mo. According to the CW’s Web site, Mr. Neustadt, a third-generation farmer, earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Central Missouri in 2000 with an emphasis in agricultural technology.

His CW mission, in case you haven’t already guessed? To find the love of his life. (The hopefuls include Stacey, 25, a sales and marketing representative originally from Owings Mills, Md., who now lives in Delray Beach, Fla.)

It’s a far cry from farm life, but she’s not the only fish-out-of-water. The other contenders — whose ranks include a caterer, a math teacher, an accountant and a street performer — don’t seem suited for rural life. Yet they’re willing to take a chance on something new after years of bad dating experiences with city slickers.

Are they up to the rigors of living on the farm? Through a series of challenges, eliminations and cozy dates, we’ll see the contestants driving a tractor, taking care of large farm animals, sewing quilts and attending bingo night.

Will Mr. Neustadt find true love? More important, with “Idol” as a ratings competitor, will “Farmer Wants a Wife” stick around long enough for him to do so?

Prime-time ‘Price’

After serving CBS well during the writers strike, “The Price Is Right” will return to prime time tonight with the first of four sweeps specials, Variety reports.

Beginning tonight the prime-time version of the show, in which contestants get more chances at the $1 million prize, will air in the leadoff 8 p.m. hour through May 21. CBS aired six episodes of the long-running game show, now hosted by Drew Carey, on Fridays in February, March and April — and each won its time period in the key demographics — adults 18 to 49 and 25 to 54 — as well as total viewers, Variety notes.

The March 7 broadcast, which averaged 10.2 million viewers, attracted the largest audience for a “Price Is Right” prime-time special (excluding Bob Barker’s farewell prime-time special last May) since December 2003.

‘Idol’ still rules

According to figures released yesterday by Nielsen Media Research, the top five shows for the week of April 21 through 27, their networks and viewerships were: 1) “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 24.7 million; 2) “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 23.2 million; 3) “Dancing With the Stars” (Monday), ABC, 18 million; 4) “Dancing With the Stars” (Tuesday), ABC, 17.9 million; and 5) “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 17 million.

This just in…

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton makes her first visit to “the no-spin zone,” sitting down with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly for an interview airing at 8 and 11 tonight on the Fox News Channel.

The former first lady and Democratic presidential hopeful will meet Mr. O”Reilly today in South Bend, Ind., where the two are expected to discuss a wide range of topics, both foreign and domestic.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports.


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