When ABC was airing the drama series "Nothing Sacred," the network was under constant criticism from the Catholic League for what that group claimed was the show's negative portrayal of a priest.
But, at the same time, the network was being criticized by TV critics for its scheduling and rescheduling of the show - first on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and then on Saturdays at 7 p.m.And ABC continues to take hits for its scheduling of a show that was a critical darling. The network's handling of the series was recently voted the worst move in television during the 1997-98 season in a poll of the nation's TV critics conducted by the trade publication Electronic Media. And that's the way yours truly voted in that poll.
"We wish that `Nothing Sacred' had gone better," Stu Bloomberg, chairman of ABC Entertainment said. "We loved that series and really did try to support it as much as we could. And I think both Jamie and I are proud that the network allowed us to continue to air it even when it really wasn't making much business sense."
"We did have a tremendous amount of belief, personally, in the show," Jamie Tarses, president, ABC Entertainment, added. "And it was only when we couldn't deliver an audience that we had to acknowledge the realities of it."
Which ignores the fact that what critics complained about was their atrocious scheduling of the show - putting a serious drama about a priest on Thursdays at 7 p.m. opposite "Friends" and then bouncing it (briefly) to another horrible time slot, Saturdays at 7 p.m.
The show never had a chance.
MTM OR NOT? Whether the announced revival of the old "Mary Tyler Moore Show" - featuring both Moore as Mary and Valerie Harper as Rhoda - ever gets off the ground is looking very iffy.
"At this point, there's no new news," said Tarses. "We weren't able to get anything off the ground for this year, and it's something we're still exploring."
So don't hold your breath.
OFF THE ICE: "Spin City" star Michael J. Fox is a well known hockey enthusiast, but the diminutive native of Canada said he did have a problem playing the game.
"For me, it was the fact that my face was at the level of most of the other kids' elbows," he said. "So it hurt a lot. I had 56 stitches in my face."