“Spin City” and “Dharma and Greg” Advertised to Kids

May 11, 2001

Obligation has just reviewed three shows from 1998 that a third party had and that party wanted us to have. They are from the very beginning of the ’98-’99 school year, August 1998. Two commercials urged children to see two of the more sexually provocative sitcoms on at the time: ABC’s “Spin City” and ABC’s “Dharma and Greg.”

You can read about the content of these programs at the Parents Television Council site http://www.parentstv.org/guide/shows/DHARMA&GREG.ASP and http://www.parentstv.org/guide/shows/spincity.asp.

Jim Metrock said, “Since 1996, Obligation has only been able to report on about 30% of Channel One shows. There is no other organization that reviews and offers criticism of this daily broadcast. It is incredible that our nation allows a company like Channel One to chose what they will show to 8 million kids and there is no consistent review of this program by the public. The filth and the junk that we have reported on is only the tip of the iceberg. We will never be able to fill in the gaps, so we will never know exactly what Channel One has promoted to our children. Looking back, these two commercials were aired several months after Dr. Paul Folkemer became Channel One’s official ‘approver of all commercials.’ Folkemer, at the time,.was telling the public that he was going to be a moderating influence on Channel One. He said that the public could trust him to only approve commercials that were good for children. Had the public known he had approved ads for these two sex comedies for kids, then the country would have realized that Channel One was about to get a lot more aggressive with its advertising.”

Obligation has asked Dr. Folkemer to send us a list of all the TV show and movies that have been advertised on Channel One since 1995 (the year Primedia bought the company from Whittle Communications) and for a list of all music played on Channel One, especially music from groups or individuals known for their sexually explicit lyrics. Channel One has played the music of Marilyn Manson and Bone Thugs, so they have made some terrible decisions about music in the past. To date, Folkemer refuses to divulge any information to us or to other parents who have asked. It seems that that will remain a secret between Channel One and our children.


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