Criticism Aside, CBS Calls Lingerie Special 'Fun'

By LYNN ELBER, AP Television Writer

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - The criticism that met a racy Victoria's Secret show on ABC won't deter CBS from airing a new special with models strutting in skimpy lingerie, CBS executives said Monday.

CBS President Leslie Moonves told the Television Critics Association that the program is a a change of pace for his network.

"This isn't your grandmother's CBS," he said.

"It's a lark. It's an hour of programming. It's fun," added Nancy Tellem, the network's programming president.

ABC came under fire when it aired its Victoria's Secret special in November and declined to show another one, giving CBS an opening.

The National Organization for Women complained about ABC's use of prime time to promote the sexual exploitation of women, and the Parents Television Council called it part of a trend of "crass and vulgar" TV programming.

A Federal Communications Commission member also asked for an investigation into whether the show violated indecency regulations; in March the FCC decided it did not.

The special drew 12.3 million viewers, finishing third in its time slot and doing marginally better than the show it replaced.

The lingerie maker, owned primarily by the Columbus, Ohio-based The Limited Inc., paid to produce the fashion show for ABC and was also responsible for buying most of the commercial time on the hour, to either use itself or sell to others.

CBS did not detail what its deal entails.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)