Site ColumnsBy Christian
January 6, 2001 - 11:31 PM
If you thought that the television business in the United States was complicated, think again - you haven't seen a truly weird situation until you've been to the Netherlands and tried to understand what's happening with our local version of Fox.
A couple of years ago, News Corp. bought the struggling Dutch station TV 10 Gold, which survived (or, more accurately, didn't survive) by airing old television shows such as 'M*A*S*H' and the original Star Trek series. As Fox, the station completely dropped from most people's radar, even though it did air some series that are successful in the US ('The Simpsons', 'Dawson's Creek', 'Roswell', 'Angel', 'Sex and the City'). I myself actually watched it quite a lot, not only because of those series, but especially because they showed David Letterman's talk show.
Early this season, the SBS station group (who are Swedish, but own two stations here) announced they were going to buy Fox, and since then no one's been able to make any sense out of it anymore. First Fox scrapped all its good series to preserve their value for SBS, and then replaced them by seemingly every failed show that News Corp. owns - I don't think I've ever seen so many 13-episode series on Dutch television before. Then the takeover deal seemed to be almost ready at the end of last year, and SBS announced they would be taking David Letterman completely off the air here, an action that already spawned a protest site. SBS also announced a new programming schedule for Fox, beginning on the 1st of January, and featuring lots of new shows for the station.
All the television schedules indeed didn't mention Letterman's show anymore, so imagine my surprise when a few days ago I was zapping around and saw Fox was airing the show again! It turns out, according to an article I found on this, that News Corp. completely forgot to submit the takeover deal for EU review, and so now it's been postponed by at least a month. Fox here is now in the position of suddenly having to scramble for programming, and indeed the most hilariously bad shows are now airing on the station - they're even repeating an old dating show from the 80s ('Studs'), and I doubt there is any content available that is even cheaper. As another cost-cutting move, they're airing David Letterman's show without subtitles (the only American show on Dutch television that isn't translated), though I don't mind much - at least the show is still on the air.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out - at times like this all the UPN problems from the past year suddenly seem like just very minor issues.
Trek BBS Today
Below are some of the topics currently being discussed at the Trek BBS:
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Thanks for voting! In the new poll, you're asked if you own a pair of Spock ears. I must admit that I actually own a pair myself, though, in my defense, they were a gift. Thanks go out to Zun for suggesting this poll topic!
Today is the 31st birthday of Aron Eisenberg, who had a recurring role on 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' as Nog.