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FOX'S `REALITY' SHOWS CRITICIZED BY NBC'S OHLMEYER.

Byline: Associated Press

A top NBC executive ripped Fox for the growing use of so-called reality TV shows, saying a program showing animal attacks was ``one step short of a snuff film.''

Fox officials suggested that Don Ohlmeyer, president of NBC West Coast, should worry about his own network.

Fox's broadcast of ``When Animals Attack 2'' on Nov. 18 was the network's sixth highest-rated program for the week, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox ran the special about angry animals twice during November - a ``sweeps'' month, when local television stations use ratings to set ad rates.

Ohlmeyer, in a Nov. 26 conference call with reporters, said Fox ``feels no shame'' in presenting such programming. He compared the animal broadcast to a snuff film, a form of pornography that features killings.

``Fox's stuff is about putting on as grotesque footage as possible - stuff that we would never put on the air,'' he said.

During the past month, Fox has also shown ``When Disaster Strikes,'' a program with footage about earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and other natural calamities, and ``Close Call: Cheating Death,'' with depictions of near-death experiences.

Fox officials say they're not alone in broadcasting these types of shows, noting that NBC recently promoted a ``Dateline NBC'' segment featuring someone gored by a bull.

CBS has also recently aired the special ``World's Most Dangerous Animals.''

``While Fox has had the most success with this type of special, this is neither a new genre nor a genre unique to Fox,'' said Fox spokesman Mark Kern.

Fox has also taken some heat from a major advertiser, Toyota, which asked that ``When Disaster Strikes'' not be aired again.
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Title Annotation:L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 3, 1996
Words:273
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