PASADENA, Calif. – CBS execs are blushing but not bashful in admitting their plans to air the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is a break from traditional programming at the staid Tiffany Network.
"People will not expect it on CBS, but once again this is not your grandmother's CBS," network president Les Moonves told a gathering of television critics yesterday.
Dress code differences aside, audiences this November will get an hourlong sweeps peek at world-famous lingerie models sashaying down the runway.
ABC aired the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show in prime time last November — with an estimated 12 million people checking out the latest in lingerie fashion.
Despite numerous viewer complaints that the program was too risqué for broadcast TV —and ABC's brief tussle with the Federal Communications Commission regarding decency —CBS says it is optimistic its show will be a "fun hour" done in good taste.
CBS' top-ranking female executive, entertainment president Nancy Tellem, will oversee the show. She said everything worn will be reviewed closely.
"It's a question of taste and it's a question of appropriateness," she said. "When you see it you know it."
Tellem said she is supportive of the show — despite charges by feminists that the show is demeaning to women.
The Victoria's Secret special will also feature interviews, a behind-the-scenes look at the show and musical guests.
Last year's catwalk featured appearances by hard bodied models such as Tyra Banks, Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum — with viewership about equal between men and women.
CBS has not yet nailed a date and timeslot for the show.