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Trio Slates Gay Block

Digital-cable and satellite network Trio is joining the growing media presence targeting the gay community.

That presence includes everything from Bravo's Queer Eye, to gay cable channels in the works from MTV (basic) and PPV provider Here! (premium).

Now it will also include a three-hour nighttime block of gay-oriented programming, OutZone, which will get a summer preview on Trio Memorial Day Weekend, then join the channel full-time Sept. 18. Come September, the block, which will include series, documentaries, films and music specials, will air Saturday night at 9-12, then repeat from 12-3 so there will be a 9-12 block for both the East and West Coasts (Trio does not have a West Coast feed).

Other summer programming from the off-beat net includes original documentary, The N Word (airing July 4), which traces the roots and impact of the epithet and includes interviews with, among others, Chris Rock, George Carlin and Samuel L. Jackson.

As part of its Texas-themed programming for the month of August, the channel will lead off with Texas: America Supersized, about how the Bush presidency has influenced national culture. Trio has some other titles it hopes will draw some eyeballs. Texas Teenage Virgins, about teenagers taking vows of chastity; Turning Muslim in Texas; and an airing of  blue movie, "Debbie Does Dallas."

Actually, the last title is the latest installment of Good Clean Porn, in which "classic" adult films are aired with "all the naughty bits left out." They run about 15 minutes, with slates inserted to describe the action that has been snipped, though using terms like "explosion" and "jackhammer." Or as on Trio staffer put it, "nothing that would get us in trouble with the FCC."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.