Starting Jan. 5, ABC's Wednesday nights will belong to J.J. Abrams. The writer-producer's struggling Alias is moving from Sundays to Wednesday's, where it will follow Abrams' new hit Lost. The fourth season of Jennifer Garner's spy drama takes the spot currently held by The Bachelor; starting with its Jan. 10 premiere, The Bachelorette will move to Mondays (and Bachelorette Jen Schefft will move to New York). After Alias' two-hour premiere, the Sydney Bristow saga will run without repeats all winter and spring so try to keep up.
The show that took Alias' Sunday perch, Desperate Housewives, got ABC in some hot water at the beginning of this week's Monday Night Football, thanks to a promotional sketch that showed Housewives' Nicollette Sheridan dropping the towel she was wearing and seducing Philadelphia Eagles receiver Terrell Owens in his locker room. The NFL, still smarting from Janet Jackson's overexposure at February's Super Bowl, was none too happy, issuing a statement saying that the sketch was ''inappropriate and unsuitable for our Monday Night Football audience.'' A Federal Communications Commission spokesperson told USA Today that the FCC received multiple complaints, as did ABC Sports, which issued its own apology, saying: ''We agree that the placement was inappropriate.'' The incident occurred less than a week after ABC was targeted with several indecency complaints to the FCC over the profanity in the network's airing of the uncut Saving Private Ryan, a broadcast that a fourth of ABC's affiliates declined to show out of fear of FCC action. It's not like Housewives even needed the help; it's the season's second most-watched show, and the third most-watched among the young men who make up much of Monday Night Football's audience.