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Sunday, May 28, 2006

ABC apologizes for sexy MNF segment

ABC has apologized for its intro to Monday Night Football, which featured a locker room encounter between actress Nicolette Sheridan and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens--just moments before the game against the Dallas Cowboys. Wrapped in a towel but showing less skin than a Cowboys cheerleader, Sheridan asks Owen to miss the game for her--then drops the towel and jumps into his arms when he wavers. With Sheridan's back visible, Owens smiles and says, "Aw, hell. Team's gonna' have to win this one without me." The shot then cuts to actresses Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman, who are watching the scene unfold on TV from the living room sofa. The spot was meant to be a spoof of ABC's hit show Desperate Housewife, which stars Sheridan, Hatcher and Huffman, but the NFL and its growingly conservative fan base apparently didn't get the joke. "While ABC may have gained attention for one of its other shows, the NFL and its fans lost," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement, calling the intro "inappropriate and unsuitable for our "Monday Night Football audience." The Eagles jumped on the apology bandwagon, adding: "It is normal for teams to cooperate with ABC in the development of an opening for its broadcast. After seeing the final piece, we wish it hadn't aired." ABC eventually succumbed to the pressure and apologized for the segment. "We have heard from many of our viewers about last night's MNF opening segment and we agree that the placement was inappropriate," the network said. "We apologize."