Today PaxTV (Paxson Communications – my current employer) begins to dig itself out of the ratings hole it has worked its way into over the years by implementing a new brand and programming outlook. PaxTV is now “i: Independent Television” or just “i”.
While the concept of providing “wholesome” entertainment primarily devoid of sex and violence was actually a pretty good one and an ambitious undertaking by Bud Paxson for a commercial television network (often called the “Seventh Network” after ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, The WB and Paramount), ultimately the shrinking minority of viewers that enjoyed the programming were not enough to keep the network profitable. Other networks also included “family friendly” programming at times during the week, so the competition from the larger networks eroded the novelty of what the PaxTV network was providing.
It also didn’t help that the popular public opinion of the network was that of heavy religious undertones and such strict moral filtering that this rather hilarious “Sopranos” skit by Mad TV helped to reinforce: