|Launched||November 25, 1999
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)
|Headquarters||El Segundo, California|
|Formerly called||Freeview (1999–2005)
The 101 Network (2005–11)
|Sister channel(s)||Game Show Network
|DirecTV||Channel 239 (SD/HD)|
Audience Network (formerly The 101 Network and originally Freeview) is DirecTV's exclusive general entertainment television channel. Since subscribers pay for the channel in their "Choice" basic package, most programs are uncut and commercial free.
Freeview launched on November 25, 1999, as a continuous loop of concerts and other events on channel 103. It was part of all subscription packages, starting with Total Choice. The channel later re-branded to the The 101 Network (as a suffix, "101" is college jargon for basic classes, or a way to describe any basic concept) in 2005. The program schedule for the channel has expanded to include original shows. The channel was rebranded as Audience Network on June 1, 2011.
Several original Audience Network series include:
- Supreme Court of Comedy is an original show on Audience Network that premiered in 2008. It is a pseudo judge show with Dom Irrera as the judge and several comedians or actors playing lawyers, including Kevin Pollak, Jon Lovitz, Jamie Kennedy, Paul Mooney, Tom Papa, Tom Arnold, Bobby Lee, Paul Rodriguez, Aries Spears, George Wallace, Victoria Jackson, Rich Hall, Louie Anderson, and Bob Marley. The plaintiffs and defendants are regular people with actual small claims court cases; however, the show has no legal standing and is meant for entertainment purposes only. The show was renewed for a third season, which premiered on June 17, 2010.
- Rock in A Hard Place is a celebrity game show, hosted by Meat Loaf, that premiered in the fall of 2008. Bands from the 1970s through 1990s are the teams. The episodes have included A Flock of Seagulls vs. Toto, Right Said Fred vs. Bananarama, Leif Garrett vs. Bay City Rollers, Diva vs. Color Me Badd, Jeffrey Osborne vs. Tony Orlando, Quiet Riot All Stars vs. Air Supply, The Skinners vs. The Shredders, Tommy Tutone vs. Ray Parker, Jr., Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam vs. Da Brat, Everclear vs. Starship, and Sha Na Na vs. War.
- The Dan Patrick Show has aired weekday mornings since August 2009. The telecast was originally exclusive to Audience Network, but since October 25, 2010, the show has been simulcast on Fox Sports Net affiliates, and on NBCSN as well.
On February 13, 2012, Audience Network premiered the original documentary More Than a Dream, about the 20th century African-American Civil Rights Movement, narrated by Martin Sheen.
In September 2012, Audience Network began airing The Nick & Artie Show, a syndicated sports and comedy radio show hosted by comedians Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange. The show airs live once a week on Friday nights with various taped replays during the week. On January 14, 2013, the show was renamed The Artie Lange Show due to Nick DiPaolo leaving to pursue other opportunities.
Starting in January 2009, the channel aired Wonderland, a controversial show that had been broadcast briefly on ABC in the spring of 2000. The run included all eight episodes of the series, six of which had never been aired.
DirecTV and NBC Studios announced on April 25, 2007, that new episodes of NBC's daytime soap opera Passions would begin airing exclusively on the channel on September 17, 2007. According to the announcement, the show would retain its 1:00 p.m.CST – 2:00 p.m. ET time slot, with episodes rerun on weekends. Passions had aired on NBC since 1999, but in January 2007 the network announced it would not renew the show for a ninth season, and its run on NBC ended on September 7, 2007. In December 2007, DirecTV announced that it would not pick up Passions from NBC for a tenth season, and aired the finale on August 7, 2008.
DirecTV, NBC, and Universal Media Studios announced on April 2, 2008, that starting on October 1, 2008, the third season of the NBC series Friday Night Lights would first air on the channel in the form of 13 first-run episodes. After DirecTV finished airing the third season episodes of Friday Night Lights, starting on January 16, 2009 NBC aired the third season with edited scenes. On March 31, 2009, NBC and DirecTV announced that they had renewed Friday Night Lights for two additional seasons, again to be broadcast first on DirecTV and then on NBC.
On July 19, 2010, DirecTV announced it had picked up the rights of Damages, formerly on FX, and renewed it for two seasons. It began airing reruns of seasons 1–3 on January 5, 2011. Season 4 premiered on Audience Network on July 13, 2011, and the fifth and final season premiered on July 11, 2012.
Off network reruns
In recent years, DirecTV began acquiring exclusive US off-network rights to shows originally from The United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. The channel began airing the Canadian comedy series Trailer Park Boys on February 5, 2009. On September 17, 2009, DirecTV announced that they have picked up rights to the Australian miniseries Underbelly, which began airing on February 3, 2010. On September 28, 2010 DirecTV acquired rights to the British shows No Heroics, How Not to Live Your Life and Mutual Friends, which premiered in November 2010. On February 10, 2011, DirecTV acquired rights to the Canadian series Call Me Fitz, which premiered on April 21, 2011. In the spring of 2011, DirecTV acquired the rights to the Australian series Rake. In the fall of 2011, DirecTV acquired rights to the Canadian sitcom Less Than Kind and the British drama Hit and Miss, the latter of which premiered on June 27, 2012, with a sneak preview, with the first full episode on July 11, 2012. DirecTV picked up the rights to the Australian series The Slap and the British series The Shadow Line, which started airing on Audience Network in February 2012.
- Bracket Breakdown was an exclusive NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship pre-game show with several college basketball analysts and insiders, including Louisville's Rick Pitino, Kentucky's John Calipari, Oklahoma's Jeff Capel, Tennessee's Bruce Pearl and Washington's Lorenzo Romar and former UCLA player and current sports talk radio show host Sean Farnham. It served as supplemental coverage to DirecTV's exclusive (now defunct) Mega March Madness package.
Movies and previews
On February 23, 2007, and February 24, 2007, Audience Network aired a preview of Chiller, the new cable channel from NBC Universal dedicated to horror programming that launched on channel 257 on DirecTV March 1, 2007. Programming featured during this preview included the two-hour pilot episode of Twin Peaks, the pilot episode of American Gothic, episodes of Monsters, Tales from the Crypt, Night Gallery, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Friday the 13th: The Series, and various horror movies.
Audience Network has aired a number of dramatic series a few days before their scheduled premiers on Showtime including The Tudors in March 2007 and Nurse Jackie in June 2009, and Party Down for Starz on April 22, 2010.
On August 24, 2007, Audience Network aired an exclusive high-definition broadcast of High School Musical 2, one week after its premiere on Disney Channel, though the high definition version of Disney Channel didn't launch until 2008.
The first original program on the channel was CD USA, a pop music show reminiscent of the longtime favorite American Bandstand. CD USA aired every Saturday evening and ran all weekend long. This channel also showed American Idol Extra, a weekly recap program, on weekends throughout the 2006 season of Idol after it had premiered Thursdays on Fox Reality.
Havoc on The 101 broadcast live web / phone text chats over music videos and action sports clips. Viewers could vote for which video they want to see next via those chats. The chats are from the website Havoc.tv. The shows were executive produced by Lloyd Bryan Adams.
- "DIRECTV Announces DIRECTV FREEVIEW Series of Special Programming Events; Exclusive Series Offered Free of Charge to Customers.". Business Wire. November 18, 1999. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- "DirecTV's The 101 Network Becomes The Audience Network on June 1". The Futon Critic (Press release). DirecTV. May 16, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- DirecTV – Supreme Court of Comedy, only on The 101
- America's Funniest Comedians Tackle the Courtroom in Season Three of DIRECTV's Original Series Supreme Court of Comedy on The 101 Network DirecTV Press Release April 7, 2010
- DirecTV – Rock & a Hard Place, only on The 101
- DirecTV Press Release March 16, 2009 Dan Patrick Signs Up For New TV Show on DIRECTV
- The Dan Patrick Show Syndicated to More Than 85 Million Homes! – Fox Sports Net Will Distribute the Popular Sports Talk TV Series Beginning October 25 DirecTV Press Release October 4, 2010
- Original Documentary More Than A Dream Premieres Feb. 13th on DIRECTV's Audience Network DirecTV Press Release, February 13, 2012
- Littleton, Cynthia (May 9, 2012). "DirecTV sets original drama for Audience Network". Variety. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- Sean L. McCarthy. "No more “Nick & Artie” as DiPaolo leaves; “The Artie Lange Show” returns/debuts in 2013". The Comic's Comic. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- Marechal, AJ (April 17, 2013). "DirecTV Orders Drama ‘Full Circle’ For Audience Network". Variety. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- "DIRECTV's The 101(R) Network Brings Back the Controversial and Critically Acclaimed Television Series Wonderland, Including Six Never-Before-Seen Episodes Beginning Jan. 14". DTV.Client.Shareholder.com. December 10, 2008. Archived from the original on May 28, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
- NBC.com ~ "NBC’S Passions to work its magic on DIRECTV viewers with all new episodes beginning September 17"
- TVPredictions.com April 25, 2007 DIRECTV Unsure On Passions In HDTV
- TVSeriesFinale.com Passions: DirecTV Cancellation Confirmed
- "NBC, Universal Media Studios and DirecTV Form Bold Partnership to Renew Friday Night Lights for a Third Season". DirecTV.com. April 2, 2008. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
- Ostrow, Joanne (April 2, 2008). "Friday Night Lights lives". DenverPost.com. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
- "NBC Universal and DirecTV Team Up Again to Renew Friday Night Lights for 26 Episodes Over Two Additional Seasons". March 31, 2009. Archived from the original on April 9, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
- DirecTV, Sony To Air Fourth, Fifth Seasons Of 'Damages' Multichannel News July 19, 2010
- "General Hospital: Night Shift Spoilers for October 14, 2008". Soaps.com. October 9, 2008. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
- MacIntyre, April (April 3, 2009). "DirecTV channel 101 brings back Smith, The Nine and Eyes". MonstersAndCritics.com (M&C). Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
- DirecTV – Sleeper Cell on The 101
- DirecTV Press Release April 21, 2009 – Customers To Get a Jolt of Drama With the Addition of Deadwood and Oz
- DirecTV 101s Fresh Look
- DirecTV – Smith, only on The 101
- DIRECTV Takes It Down to The Wire(R) with the Debut of the Acclaimed Series on the 101 Network DirecTV Press Release April 12, 2010
- "DIRECTV Cultivates More Comedy On The 101 Network With Trailer Park Boys". TrailerParkBoys.com. February 4, 2009. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2009.
- DirecTV Press Release September 17, 2009 DIRECTV Takes Viewers Deep Into the "Underbelly" of the Australian Crime World
- BBC Worldwide and DIRECTV Announce Heroic Deal – British Comedy Award Nominees "No Heroics," "How Not to Live Your Life" and "Mutual Friends" to Make Exclusive US Debut on The 101 Network DirecTV Press Release September 28, 2010
- Critically-Acclaimed Series "Call Me Fitz" Heads for DirecTV's The 101 Network Futon Critic February 10, 2011
- DirecTV Delves Deeper Into Content With New Audience Network Wall Street Journal May 13, 2011
- Canada's Funniest Dysfunctional Family Finds a Home on DIRECTV; Hit Comedy ‘Less Than Kind' Makes U.S. Debut Exclusively on the Audience Network DirecTV Press Release September 20, 2011
- DIRECTV Brings Highly Anticipated Paul Abbott Drama Series Hit and Miss to Audience Network DirecTV Press Release October 21, 2011
- Munn, Patrick (February 1, 2012). "DIRECTV's Audience Network Acquires The Slap and The Shadow Line". TVWise. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- DirecTV Press Release March 4, 2009 DIRECTV's Exclusive 'Bracket Breakdown' is College Hoops' Ultimate Meeting of the Minds
- DIRECTV Announces Lineup For SXSW Live, The Only Live Television Broadcast From The Trendsetting Music Festival, Airing March 20–21 On DIRECTV's The 101(R) Network
- Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America Concert to be Broadcast Live in HD and Commercial Free Exclusively on DIRECTV's The 101 Network DirecTV Press Release September 15, 2010
- Multichannel News August 21, 2007 DirecTV airs High School Musical 2 in HD
- DirecTV Press Release March 16, 2006 DIRECTV Gives Die Hard Fans More Ways to Watch 'American Idol Extra'; Delivering Weekly Encore Performances of 'American Idol Extra,' DIRECTV Customers Will Have Access to Behind-the-Scenes Action with Top Twelve Finalists
- msnbc.com Championship Gaming Series Information
- Access DirecTV Magazine April 2007 Me, Myself and I TV
- DirecTV Press Release September 25, 2006 DIRECTV's New Original Series Project MyWorld Sends Three Friends to Conquer the World with Their MySpace Friends
- DirecTV – Project My World, only on The 101
- DirecTV – Havoc on The 101
- DirecTV – Hometown Heroes, only on The 101