ABC: Sorry for Desperate Football Spoof

ABC: Sorry for Desperate Football Spoof
Nicollette Sheridan
Jacqui Wong/ AdMedia

updated 11/16/2004 at 05:25 PM EST

originally published 11/16/2004 05:25PM

ABC is apologizing to its Monday Night Football viewers, saying it made a judgment malfunction by airing a sexy intro segment that spoofed its hit show Desperate Housewives.

The network issued a statement Tuesday saying it regrets the sexy skit, which featured a nude Nicollette Sheridan – star of Desperate Housewives – jumping into the arms of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens.

"We have heard from many of our viewers about last night's MNF opening segment and we agree that the placement was inappropriate," ABC said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. "We apologize."

The spot, which aired just before the Philadelphia-Dallas game on Monday, showed Sheridan clad in a towel, alone in a locker room with Owens. By way of explanation for her lack of clothing, Sheridan says, "My house burned down and I needed to take a long hot shower. So where are you off to looking so pretty?"

Owens answers: "Baby, it's Monday Night Football, game starts in 10 minutes."

"Oh you and your little games," Sheridan says. "I've got a game we can play." She then drops her towel and gets Owens to agree to be late for the game.

The NFL called the intro "inappropriate and unsuitable for our Monday Night Football audience."

"While ABC may have gained attention for one of its other shows, the NFL and its fans lost," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

The skit, of course, follows this year's NFL Super Bowl halftime show, which featured Janet Jackson's infamous breast-exposing "wardrobe malfunction." Viacom, parent company to CBS, which aired the game, is disputing a $550,000 proposed government fine for the incident.

It's the largest indecency fine ever imposed against a television broadcaster.

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