Trio's Originals Push Is a Themed Effort

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Arts-and-culture network Trio has scheduled quarterly, month-long themed programming stunts, beginning in June with an effort focused on media censorship.

The stunts are part of an overall strategy to boost the diginet's original programming output in the near future, said newly named Trio president Lauren Zalaznick.

Each quarter, the network will develop a monthly strand in an effort to create a "comfort zone" in which viewers can expect programming devoted to a particular issue. Topics will range from comedy to music, according to Zalaznick.

"We want to get our viewers used to watching themed programming throughout a monthlong time frame," Zalaznick said. "We'll create programming that tackles issues from unique sides that other networks wouldn't approach."


The first such stunt begins June 5, when the network devotes a large portion of its programming schedule to media censorship. Trio will air several controversial films unedited and without commercials. It has also slated several original documentaries.

Trio will telecast The Last Temptation of Christ
(June 5), Last Tango in Paris
(June 6), Lolita
(June 7) and The People vs. Larry Flint
(June 10) in their entirety without commercials, said network officials.

Documentaries include: Art & Outrage,
a Sandra Bernhard-hosted effort that explores controversy in the media (June 5); TV's Most Censored Moments
(June 12); and The History of Pornography,
a six-part series charting the changes in sexual imagery over thousands of years (June 18).

Zalaznick doesn't feel the censorship stunt will derive any backlash from operators concerned about content issues. "We've been very up front with our affiliates about our plans," she said. "We've told them that we're programming responsibly."

Each censorship-themed program will air at 10 p.m. and will feature disclaimers throughout the telecast, notably a continuous on-air viewer advisory in the lower left part of the screen, said Zalaznick.

"It's not shock for shock's sake, but culture for culture's sake," Zalaznick added. "A month-long look at censorship in the media gives our viewers a way of approaching pop culture."

Zalansky also plans to ramp up the network's slate of original documentaries within the next year, although she would not provide a specific number.