|Launched||November 25, 1999
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)
|Headquarters||El Segundo, California|
|Formerly called||Freeview (1999–2005)
The 101 Network (2005–2011)
|Sister channel(s)||Game Show Network
|DirecTV||Channels 101, 239, 334 and 500 (SD/HD)|
Audience Network is an American satellite television network that is owned by DirecTV. A general entertainment network that is exclusive to the satellite provider, it features a mix of series, specials and feature films. The network operates as a commercial-free service and broadcasts its programming without editing for content, as DirecTV customers must subscribe to its "Select" basic package in order to receive the channel.
The network launched on November 25, 1999 as Freeview, a service on DirecTV channel 103 carrying a continuous loop of concerts and other events. Freeview was part of all of the satellite provider's subscription packages, starting with the Total Choice tier. In 2005, it was moved to channel 101 and was rebranded as the The 101 Network (as a suffix, "101" is college jargon for basic classes or, in more general terms, a way to describe any basic concept). Following the rebrand, the channel's schedule began to expand to include original programs. The channel was rebranded as Audience Network on June 1, 2011.
Original series broadcast by Audience Network (and its various incarnations) include:
- Supreme Court of Comedy – a pseudo judge show that premiered in 2008, with stand-up comic/actor Dom Irrera as the judge. Several comedians or actors play lawyers in the series, 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 seen in each episode are regular people with actual small claims court cases; however, the show has no legal standing and is meant for entertainment purposes only.
- Rock in A Hard Place – a celebrity game show, hosted by Meat Loaf, which premiered in the fall of 2008 featuring teams consisting of bands and artists from the 1970s through the 1990s. Among the bands competing in the series' episodes have included A Flock of Seagulls, Toto, Right Said Fred, Bananarama, Leif Garrett, Bay City Rollers, Diva, Color Me Badd, Jeffrey Osborne, Tony Orlando, Quiet Riot All Stars, Air Supply, The Skinners, The Shredders, Tommy Tutone, Ray Parker, Jr., Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Da Brat, Everclear, Starship, Sha Na Na and War.
- The Dan Patrick Show – a television simulcast of the weekday morning syndicated sports radio program, which debuted on the network in August 2009. The telecast was originally exclusive to the Audience Network; however, the show began to simulcast on the affiliates of Fox Sports Net in October 25, 2010; NBCSN replaced Fox Sports Net as its secondary broadcast partner in 2013.
- 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 May 2012, Audience Network announced its first original drama series, Rogue.
- 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 program was renamed The Artie Lange Show, after Nick DiPaolo left to pursue other opportunities.
- In April 2013, Audience Network greenlit a ten-episode first season for the drama series Full Circle. The series filmed during mid-2013 in Los Angeles.
Starting in January 2009, the channel aired Wonderland, a controversial drama series that had briefly aired on ABC in the spring of 2000. The run included all eight episodes of the series, six of which were not originally aired during the program's ABC run.
DirecTV and NBC Studios announced on April 25, 2007, that new episodes of the soap opera Passions would begin airing exclusively on the channel on September 17, 2007, retaining its 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time timeslot that it held during its NBC run, with reruns airing on weekends. The series, which had aired on NBC since 1999, was picked up by The 101 after NBC decided to cancel Passions after eight seasons in January 2007 to expand Today to four hours on September 10, 2007 (three days after its final episode on the network). In December 2007, DirecTV announced that it would not pick up Passions from NBC for a tenth season, the series finale aired on August 7, 2008.
DirecTV, NBC, and Universal Media Studios announced a deal on April 2, 2008, in which The 101 would carry the 13-episode third season of Friday Night Lights beginning on October 1. Through the deal, after the season ended on The 101, the drama series' third season aired in second-run form on NBC (with some scenes edited) starting on January 16, 2009. 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 acquired the rights to the former FX drama Damages, and renewed the series for two additional seasons. The 101 began airing reruns of its first three seasons on January 5, 2011. Season 4 premiered on the rebranded Audience Network on July 13, 2011, and the fifth and final season premiered on July 11, 2012.
- The channel aired repeat episodes of SoapNet's original soap opera limited series, General Hospital: Night Shift throughout the series' run from July to October 2008.
- The channel broadcast the Nat Geo Adventure's documentary travel/adventure series Odyssey: Driving Around the World starting in June 2008.
- The short-lived ABC drama The Nine began airing on the channel on May 27, 2009.
- The channel also aired reruns of the 2005–06 Showtime drama series Sleeper Cell.
- On April 21, 2009, it was announced that DirecTV picked up the syndication rights to HBO's Oz and Deadwood.
- The channel began airing the CBS drama Smith on April 8, 2009.
- DirecTV aired repeats of the HBO drama series The Wire starting on July 18, 2010.
In recent years, DirecTV began acquiring exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to series from fellow English-dominant countries England, Canada and Australia. The 101 began airing the Canadian comedy series Trailer Park Boys on February 5, 2009. On September 17, 2009, DirecTV announced that The 101 had 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 on The 101 in November 2010.
On February 10, 2011, DirecTV acquired rights to the Canadian series Call Me Fitz, which premiered on the network 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 & Miss, the latter of which premiered on June 27, 2012, with a sneak preview, with the first full episode airing 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.
- Celebrity Beach Bowl – Since 2007, during Super Bowl week, DirecTV has held an annual celebrity flag football game, which promotes DirecTV's exclusive sports package NFL Sunday Ticket. A concert follows the game, which is simulcast on Chicago television station WGN-TV, its sister network WGN America, and in 2013, NBC Sports Network.
- Bracket Breakdown was an exclusive NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship pre-game show with several college basketball analysts and insiders, including the University of Louisville's Rick Pitino, the University of Kentucky's John Calipari, the University of Oklahoma's Jeff Capel, the University of Tennessee's Bruce Pearl and the University of 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.
- SXSW – the channel exclusively carried the 2009 South by Southwest Festival concert live.
- Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America aired exclusively on DirecTV.
Movies and previews
On February 23 and 24, 2007, Audience Network aired a preview of Chiller, a then-recently launched cable channel owned by NBC Universal dedicated to horror programming that launched on DirecTV channel 257 on 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 premieres on Showtime including The Tudors in March 2007 and Nurse Jackie in June 2009, as well as the Starz series Party Down 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 the Disney Channel (Disney Channel did not launch a high definition simulcast feed until August 2008).
The first original program on the channel was CD USA, a pop music show reminiscent of the longtime favorite American Bandstand. The series aired Saturday evenings and ran throughout the weekend. The channel also aired the weekly recap program American Idol Extra on weekends throughout the 2006 season of American Idol after their original Thursday airings on Fox Reality.
Havoc on The 101 broadcast live web/phone text chats, with online chats sourced from the website Havoc.tv, over music videos and action sports clips. Viewers could vote for which video they wanted to see next via those chats. 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