Television

MTV Germany to continue broadcasting 'Popetown'

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MUMBAI: MTV Germany has decided to broadcast the cartoon series Popetown in its entirety. Following the broadcast of the first episode last Wednesday, the remaining nine episodes will be broadcast from today - 10 May.

A couple of years ago the BBC had pulled the plug on the show due to pressure from the Catholic community. The show is set in a fictional Vatican.

MTV Germany programming director Elmar Giglinger says, "We have decided to broadcast all episodes of Popetown. Our decision is based on the reaction of the viewers, who were clearly in favour of the programme's broadcast, as well as the FSF's assessment that the submitted episodes of Popetown are legally unobjectionable."

Internet users were asked their opinion on Popetown in a recent poll, conducted by market research institute PhoneResearch on 3 and 4 May 2006. More than 94 per cent of those asked said that this type of series should be broadcast.

Comments from 'MTV News Mag Special - Popetown', the live discussion programme which took place on 3 May, were also taken into account in the decision-making process. During the discussion, representatives from the Federation of German Catholic Youth, the FSF, the Junge Liberale (Young Liberals Organisation), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, Cologne Conference (international film and television festival) and members of the music and entertainment communities voiced their opinions on Popetown, with nobody calling for a ban of the show.

Viewers were also invited to take part in the live discussion both online and by telephone. The response was enormous. During the show, the Berlin MTV Studio switchboards were jammed and over 15,000 comments were submitted to the online forum at www.mtv.de/popetown, with the overwhelming majority of people supporting the broadcast of Popetown.

In the run-up to the broadcast of MTV News Mag Special - Popetown, a random representative household sample of 1,004 people between the ages of 14 and 39 were asked their opinion on Popetown by PhoneResearch. Asked whether this type of series should be allowed to be shown on German television, 78 per cent answered "yes", 16 per cent "no" and the rest were undecided. Ninety one per cent of those asked found the televised discussion and the network's handling of criticism generally good.

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