NBC Affils Balk at Queer Eye

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Some NBC affiliates are dismayed at the network’s decision to repurpose a
condensed version of Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy premiere
episode.

NBC alerted affiliates Friday afternoon that it would air a 30-minute version
of the hour-long Queer Eye show July 24, following gay-themed comedy
series Will and Grace. Bravo’s July 15 episode of the series -- five gay
men provide a lifestyle makeover to a straight man -- achieved a network record
1.6 household rating. The show also drew 1.17 million viewers in the adults
25-54 category, 1.2 million viewers in the adults 18-49 category and 1.6 million
total viewers.

NBC affiliates can preview a feed of the condensed NBC version of the show
Tuesday at 2 p.m. (EST). Several affiliates said they would reserve judgment
until after then, but they might decide to pass on the show due to objectionable
content.

Some affiliates are already grumbling about NBC’s snap decision to repurpose
Bravo programming before allowing affiliates to see the episode.

Several affiliates initially voiced concerns about the content of the show
several weeks ago as part of an overall backlash against NBC, which wanted to
air day-and-date ads for Queer Eye. NBC eventually backed down on the
issue.

"I’m disappointed at the rushed nature of this," Georgia-based WAGT president
and general manager John Mann said.

While expressing content concerns with a couple of scenes during Bravo’s
version of the premiere episode, he did say the show was "well-done and
entertaining."

"This is a slightly controversial thing they’re doing. I trust them [with the
editing], but I hope that their standards are the same as Augusta, Ga.," he
added.

Another NBC affiliate in the Midwest who wished to remain anonymous also said
he’s "disconcerted" about NBC’s decision to repurpose Bravo programming on the
network. "Why would you want to promote a show for a network that could
inevitably divert viewers from your station?" he asked.

NBC officials insisted that the airing is a "one-time-only" exhibition.

While the network repurposed episodes of Courtroom Television Network’s
Forensic Files
skein last summer, it’s the first time it has aired shows
from one of its own cable services.

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