The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio on August 14, 1998 · Page 24
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The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio · Page 24

Akron, Ohio
Issue Date:
Friday, August 14, 1998
Page 24
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Page C2, Friday, August 14, 1998 The Beacon Journal TV Fox Family will start tomorrow, Pax on Aug. 31 Continued from Page CI such as men 18 to 49 years old. And the family that watches TV together is just another niche. And even that leaves a question hanging: Whose family is family viewing meant to serve? The answer isn't clear even as two new programming enterprises target families - but with two very different views of what a family wants to see. The newest entry is Fox Family Channel, a retitlcd and overhauled version of the Family Channel, which begins broadcasts with a new lineup tomorrow. In about two weeks, the seventh broadcast network. Pax TV, hits the airwaves with its vision of what families want - a vision, by the way, that includes some series that used to run on the Family Channel. For 20 years, the Family Channel presented itself as a squeaky-clean alternative to ever more provocative broadcast and cable fare. But in June 1997, News Corp., the parent company of the Fox television empire, made a deal to buy International Family Entertainment, the parent company of the Family Channel, with the idea of making the Family Channel part of the Fox Kids organization. As the Fox Family Channel, old Family Channel series like Home & Family and repeats of Christy, Rescue 911 and Diagnosis Murder will disappear. (The 700 Club and some movies made for the old channel, such as Night of the Twisters, will remain.) The new lineup is similar to what Nickelodeon offers: kids' programming most of the day followed by fare for the entire family at night. Old TV series like Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Shining Time Station and Bobby's World will share airspace with original series like Mr. BUI Presents (based on the Saturday Night Live character) and The New Addams Family. The opening weekend includes specials about Leonardo DiCaprio and the Spice Girls. Rich Cronin, the former Nickelodeon executive who is now president of the Fox Family Channel, has promised the new channel will "provide wholesome family entertainment, but the strategies for targeting, programming and marketing are now different-. . . Humor will become the hallmark of our network because it is the best way to tap into the young creative image of the Fox brand without ever being inappropriate for fami FILM Movie wants to know what viewer would do Continued from Page CI that her headline-making status as comedian Ellen DeGeneres' lover shouldn't be a roadblock to heterosexual roles). Vaughn plays Sheriff, a cynical young American touring Asia with his friend Tony (David Conrad). While staying in Malaysia, Sheriff and Tony meet idealistic Lewis (Phoenix). The three become close, sharing dreams, resources and the incredibly cheap hashish available in Malaysia. The chain of events leading to a death sentence starts with a rented bicycle. The irresponsible Sheriff throws the ruined bike over a cliff. The next day, he and Tony say goodbye to Lewis, who is staying in the country to study endangered orangutans. They dump their stash of hashish in the garbage and leave. Two years later, a lawyer named Beth (Heche) finds Sheriff and Tony in New York City. Shortly after they left Malaysia, the owner of the rented bicycle showed up with the police. The authorities found the hashish, and the amount was large enough for them to consider Lewis a dealer. The crime is punishable by death, but, according to Beth, a Malaysian judge has agreed to drop the charge to possession if Sheriff or Tony returns and admits that part of the stash belonged to him. If one of them goes back, the sentence will be six years. If both go back, each of the three friends will serve three (Area code: 330) Features Editor Ann Sheldon Mezger-996-3586 Entertainment News Joan Rice -996-3564 Food . Jane Snow -996-3571 Travel, Designs Betsy Lammerding - 996-3573 Television , Essentials Yuvonne Bruce -996-3559 lies." Of course, what's appropriate is open to interpretation. Cronin's comments come from a letter to critics after a contentious press conference during which he and other executives stumbled over such questions as how The 700 Club fits its family mandate, what the oft-talked about "Fox attitude" would mean in terms of programming, and how much will the channel have to cut movies like Mrs. Doubtfire and Home Alone 2 to make them suitable for the whole family. "Attitude," a word that Fox favors (it also talked about attitude when converting SportsChannel Ohio into Fox Sports Ohio), has a bad connotation for some writers, with one saying in TV the word is often equated with "rude." "Hasn't anyone ever heard of a good attitude, a positive attitude?" Haim Saban, chairman of Fox Family Worldwide, later wondered. And just because programs on Fox Family Channel looked flashy, that didn't mean they were worse than what the network used to offer. Saban singled out Rescue 911 from the old Family Channel lineup as a series he didn't consider family fare. And there was a hint of patron-ization in some of the questions posed to Fox executives. The 700 Club, for example, is a lightning rod for some critics because of host Pat Robertson's conservative politics - but other cable channels, not to mention local TV stations, have long carried programs with a strong religious and social point of view. Then there was the critic who suggested that Fox Family was abandoning "the poor, old, tired Christian families in Iowa, in Nebraska, Alabama . . . rural people . . . people who have maybe more traditional values." As if living on a farm meant you just fell off the truck. But that points to the assumption that, even if a network designates itself as family-friendly, it may not fit everyone's idea of what a family wants - or even what a family is. Pax TV, which begins broadcasting Aug. 31, including on WVPX (Channel 23), ran into a similar problem at a news conference about a week after the Fox Family brawl. Drawing on the money of Florida entrepreneur Lowell "Bud" Paxson and the savvy of veteran programmers like former CBS executive Sagansky, Pax TV seems perfect for that traditional-values audience the critic described. "Our idea is that there is a big, big audience out there for family television entertainment that aspires to provide positive role models in a way that really enhances people's lives," said Sagansky, now president of Paxson Communications. Along with original program Details Movie: Return to Paradise Stars: Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Joaquin Phoenix, David Conrad, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vera Fermiga, Ming Lee Director: Joseph Ruben Studio: Polygram Films Running time: 1 hour, 49 minutes Theaters: Independence 10, West Market Plaza 7, Jackson Township Movies 10 Rating: R (violence, language, sexual situations, adult themes) Mark's grade: C years. Ultimately, the question of whether bhenfl or Tony or both will go back becomes a matter of secondary importance. The film wants to know what you would do. Would you go back? How far would you go in the name of friendship; We entertain these questions, even though Ruben's direction fails to entertain or enthrall. The moral dilemma fascinates us. The filmmaking doesn't. Return to paradise? No, Ruben should have returned to the set to answer another question: How do you deliver on the terrific promise in a terrific premise. Mark Dawidziak is the Beacon Journal's critic-at-large. Visit our World Web site at http: for earlier Dawid- ztak film reviews. It's easy to get the picture. . With's new, interactive Web site. Check out our home page, to find all the tools you need. ming, Pax TV is building its schedule around reruns of family shows like Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, Life Goes On, Highway to Heaven and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Several of its shows - among them Bonanza, Christy and Diagnosis Murder -were shown on the old Family Channel. But one way Pax TV has chosen to get noticed is with advertis ing attacking other programmers for offensive fare, with Pax TV the supposed alternative. Even putting aside the fact that Pax TVs lineup is loaded with shows from the networks it is attacking, its attack used language that sounded anti-homosexual. While Sagansky apologized for the anti-gay message, saying it was unintentional, the gaffe fueled speculation that Pax TV is not so much a family channel - an appealing idea of itself - but one with an underlying conservative agenda. And Paxson, as Sagansky B FEKEISS SQUARE mam mmn I N G 0 2272 S. Arlington Rd. 724-3004 I 00 1935 '1,350 Jackpot MOOX-Came life Ml! ft. Ml! ft MS y TV Ugrtwd PitrtOng Won Smoton Boom CHAPPARELLS BINGO 66 Wait WlllMrth Ea.t of Kmmon Blvd. EVIRV WIONItDAT AND FRIDAY WiLb tHiNd 56c TiiKfcf TOP PRIZE 5 O SIO.OOO LAST WID. FRI. OP MONTH '500 worth of Gum ugle food Coupons COMM A TRY OUR JJaT V VJi UE UfUKBI ff L (No"lp) Aic CtW Non SmotiigTm Hot Mxill $A ItatitaW Wurrfv Hnnriirnri Arr.niWa 1 8 V r'lWWiiitiiWOTWi '-- Beverly Hills style at an Akron price at "Best Cuts", only $8.95 an at BARGAIN MATINEES ALL SHOWS BEFORE 6PM TIMES in BRACKETS rim. t SAT. 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DOLITTLE (PG-13) 12 35-2 50-7 05-9:10 THE MASK OF ZORRO(PG-13)4:10-7:20-t0:05 THE NEGOTIATOR (R) 7:10-10 00 SMALL SOLDIERS (PG-13) 12 20-2:35 DISTURBING BEHAVIOR (R) 4:55 MADELINE (PG)12 05 HALLOWEEN: H20(R) 1:00-3:05-5:00-7:10-10:15 LETHAL WEAPON 4 (R) 12:20-7:15 THE NEGOTIATOR (R) 4:10-9 55 THE MASK OF ZORRO(PG-13) 12:40-4:20-7:25-10:10 SNAKE EYES (R) 1 2:50-3:00-5: 1 5-7:30-9:40 THE AVENGERS (PG-13) 12:55-3:10-5:10-7:25-9:45 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (R) 12:00-3:15-6:40-10.00 THE PARENT TRAP (PG) 12:10-4:00-6:50-9:30 ARMAGEDDON (PG-13) 12 00-4:00-7:00-10 00 SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (H) 12:30-4:50-7:40-10:05 EVER AFTER (PG-1 3) 12 15-4 40-7 20-9 50 THE AVENGERS (PG-13) 12:45-4:00-7:20-9:30 EVEH AFTER (PG-13) 12:50-4:05-7:15-9.35 THE MASK OF ZORRO (PG-1 3) 9:25 AIR BUD: GOLDEN RECEIVER (G) 12:40-3:55-7:10 THE PARENT TRAP (PG) 12:35-3:50-7:05-9:40 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (R) 12 30-3:45-7:00-10:10 SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (R) 1 :00-7:30-9:45 DISTURBING BEHAVIOR (R) 4:15 HALLOWEEN: H20(R) 1:05-4:20-7:35-9:50 SNAKE EYES(R) 1:10-4 25-7 40-9:55 mm Norka Lungr Start at f 37t futon llvy Drew Barrymore Ahjeiiga Huston GiHOERELiA Story wiuoMiwacoA INTERSTATE PARK 141 REGAL CINEMAS ARLINGTON RD. at INTERSTATE WCWTI BABY THIS WEEKEND SUN. 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