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Inauguration Counterprogramming

Knowing the cable news networks and the broadcast nets would cop virtually all viewers looking for today’s inauguration ceremony coverage, other TV networks struggled to carve out their own slice of the audience with coverage of the ceremony, or creative counterprogramming.

On Current TV you could twitter the inauguration. It yielded such insightful comments as:

“Wow, Jill Biden is Hot”; “Why didn’t Al Gore smile and wave at me through the TV just now. Dude I fixed your wife’s Macbook Pro that one time” ; “Nancy Pelosi’s hair is way better than Diane Feinstein’s”; “Just back from the gym it was almost empty Netherlands having inauguration fever as well?’; “Seriously I am just bawling with joy,” “Wow Rick Warren prays like my mom”; “My crush on Obama just keeps growing”; “Rev Lowery is old school cool”; and, our personal fave, “What’s less popular: Cheney or poetry?”

BET and TV1, two cable networks that target African American viewers, also covered the inauguration, while E! network re-ran an episode of its “True Hollywood Story” called “First Daughters” -- which will now need updating.

GEMS network promised an “Inauguration Special” as the inauguration ceremony got underway. “Inauguration Special” appeared to involve practically giving away green amethyst and diamond rings in front of red-white-and-blue bunting:

“Ooh, look at the current price tag! … $339..still 14 left!”

NBCUniversal-owned Bravo reran the “Election Day” episode of NBC’s White House drama “The West Wing” called “Election Day” in which Josh stressed over returns while CJ faced future job offers.

Turner Classic Movies opted to telecast “Washington Story,” the 1952 flick in which Patricia Neal played a journalist who targets a politician for scandal but finds romance instead. Competitor Fox Movie Channel went with ‘52’s “Something for the Birds,” which, ironically, also starred Patricia Neal as an environmentalist who goes to Washington D.C. to fight for legislation to save the last remaining sanctuary of the endangered California Condor.

Meanwhile, when the inauguration ceremony got underway, National Geographic Channel instead brought you an episode of its “Final Report” series, entitled “Clinton Impeachment.”

-- By Lisa de Moraes

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  January 20, 2009; 4:32 PM ET  | Category:  Entertainment
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