ABC Cleared on MNF Pregame Indecency

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After reviewing the play, the Federal Communications Commission ruled Monday that the ABC Monday Night Football lead-in that showed Desperate Housewives siren Nicollette Sheridan dropping her towel in front of Philadelphia Eagles star Terrell Owens did not violate federal indecency laws.

The steamy pregame scene, set in an empty Eagles locker room, showed a semi-nude Sheridan dropping her towel before leaping into the arms of Owens after he consents to her come-hither seductions.

“No sexual or excretory organs are shown or described, and no sexual activities are explicitly depicted or described. Furthermore, the scene where Sheridan drops her towel and jumps into Owens’ arms is brief,” the agency’s order said.

The FCC said it received “many complaints,” but it did not reveal names or organizations. The agency is allowed to ban indecent broadcasts between 6 a.m.-10 p.m. for the protection of children.

The Sheridan-Owens segment -- designed to promote the ABC primetime hit in which Sheridan stars -- aired just prior to the 9 p.m. (EST) telecast of the Nov. 15 National Football League game between the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys.

In a statement, FCC member Michael Copps urged broadcasters to show more self-discipline when it comes to sexually suggestive content inappropriate for children.

“There wasn’t much self-discipline in this particular promotion. As stewards of the public airwaves, broadcasters can and should do better,” Copps said.

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