9 Fox affiliates won't show O.J. Simpson special
The owners of nine Fox television affiliates in the U.S. will not air a two-part special in which O.J. Simpson speaks about the killing of his ex-wife.
Lin Broadcasting and Pappas Broadcasting, both small chains with stations in small and mid-sized cities, say the program If I Did It, Here's How It Happeneddoes not serve the public interest.
In the show, scheduled for broadcast Nov. 27 and 29, Simpson is to speak in "hypothetical terms" about how he would have committed the 1994 killing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman "if he were the one responsible."
"After careful consideration regarding the nature of the show, as well as the feedback we received from the viewers of northeast Wisconsin, we determined that this programming was not serving the local public interest," said Jay Zollar, general manager of WLUK-TV, a Lin station in Green Bay, Wis.
Lin stations in Mobile, Ala., Toledo, Ohio, Albuquerque, N.M., and Providence, R.I., also will not air the special.
Pappas stations in Omaha and Lincoln, Neb., Fresno, Calif., and Dakota Dunes, S.D., have also turned it down.
Pappas issued a statement saying the stations were not interested in seeing Simpson profit from the project.
Fox has 200 affiliates across the U.S. and most Fox stations in the biggest cities will follow the network lead and air the program.
Fox spokesman Scott Grogin said the network had no comment about the decision by its affiliates.
Simpson, a former football star, was acquitted of murder in 1995 but was later found liable in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Goldman family.
The special airs during the November ratings sweeps and concludes a day before thelaunch of hisbook If I Did It,which publisherJudith Regan says reads like Simpson's confession.
Many critics have accusedFox ofmanipulating the ratings game and creating a program in poor taste.
Some advertisers havedeclined to be associated with the O.J. Simpson special.
Bookstores have also said they will refuse to carry the book.
Goldman's family, who launched the wrongful death lawsuit against Simpson, says any proceeds from the TV special or book ought to come to them.
With files from the Associated Press