Anything Can't Happen

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Fox gets the Sweeps Promotional Chutzpah Award, which this sweep is a statue of a naked lady with a clock where her stomach ought to be and next sweep will be a simulated alligator wallet.

Fox also would have gotten it for that Family Guy episode last year that thumbed its nose, shot its moon and did everything else to the FCC's indecency enforcement regime, but I had not invented the award yet. Sorry.

Because my children can't do the dishes without watching Simpson reruns on the local Fox-owned station, I overheard a promo for the Billboard Awards awards show. It ended with a recititation of the musical talent showing up, including Janet Jackson, followed by the come-on that "anything could happen" on the show.

Oh, like another reveal, or maybe a cuss?

Combining Janet Jackson and Billboards is kind of like billing your ocean crossing as the Titanic going over and the Andrea Dorea coming back.

Janet and the Billboards are front and center in the current court challenges to indecency in which Fox prominently figures, with Janet's role now so iconic as to go without elaboration. The Billboards is on display thanks to some cussing on a former incarnation on Fox that got e-mails cranking from family groups.

Saying anything may be able to happen is on the hyberbolic end of the scale, even for sweeps, since even if does, you probably won't see it if it involves four-letter words or dresses that cut the imagination out of the will.

Everybody has tape delays on their awards shows these days to make sure the FCC isn't too unhappy with what we are watching, sweeps or no sweeps.

By John Eggerton

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