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Random Acts of Thought

John O'Hurley, Come on Down! As a veteran Bob Barker watcher since the Truth or Consequences days, I will be sorry to see him exit Price Is Right next month, but I wanted to get my plug in now for John O'Hurley  as a replacement.

O'Hurley has wanted to do game shows since he was a kid, or at least that is what he said to me once when he was plugging his stint atop Fremantle's syndicated To Tell the Truth some years ago.

He has the white hair, so he would be an easy transition from Barker, plus he combines the hipness of having been J. Peterman on Seinfeld to attract the boomer crowd, with the Dancing with the Stars cachet that could be a draw with the hip-replacement set….

The Players, formerly The Players Championship, will air on NBC this weekend with limited commercial interruptions. That is because the golf championship is now a PGA time buy on the network and the PGA, which controls the commercial time, has decided to limit the ads, as does The Masters. That means that instead of 14 or more minutes of ads per hour, there will be only four minutes or so, plus some promos and station ID's.

The upside is that with fewer ads, NBC won't have to sacrifice some of the golfers' drives. The downside is that they have had to move the port-a-johns closer to the booth, says longtime producer Tommy Roy, who adds that he had perfected the minute-and-a half bathroom break but was going to have to cut his time to under a minute…

According to a report in Variety, Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons talked of content regulation in pretty dramatic terms during a panel session at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association convention  in Las Vegas. "Right now it seems the best way to get elected is to run to the extremes," he said. "There are entrenched and very vocal minority groups that are distorting the conversation" on content. "Visit the Holocaust museum in Washington and you'll see what happens when government gets control of the message," Parsons said.

I know what he means, which is that the consequences can be dire if the goverment starts mucking about in content, but the Holocaust is too extreme an image and should generally not be used as a comparison to things other than death on a massive scale, if then. Darfur, Soviet purges, maybe, but probably not content regulation, no matter how onerous. Just a thought.

By John Eggerton.