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Fox Executive Defends Removal of ‘Melrose Place’ Gay Kiss

July 15, 1994 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Is one kiss worth a million bucks?

Fox Broadcasting Co. didn’t think so - and the network’s programming chief still defends the decision not to air a kiss between two gay characters on the popular show ″Melrose Place.″

Advertisers would have pulled out in droves had Fox showed Matt Fielding (actor Doug Savant) kiss another man after their first date, Fox’s Sandy Grushow said Thursday.

The scene included a kiss when it was filmed. But when the show aired, viewers only saw the two men shake hands and share a meaningful look.

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″The bottom line is, we’re in a business,″ Grushow said after repeated questions about the unseen kiss at a Television Critics Association meeting. ″We would have lost up to $1 million by airing that kiss.″

ABC didn’t mention any losses last season after a ″Roseanne″ episode in which Roseanne kissed Mariel Hemingway. But a 1989 episode of ″thirtysomething″ showing a gay couple talking in bed reportedly cost ABC $1 million in ad revenue.

Grushow said Fox arrived at the $1 million figure after speaking with advertisers. She said the network couldn’t absorb the loss because Fox programs one-third less prime-time hours than the other networks.

Grushow also said Fox is considering a TV movie about O.J. Simpson but won’t make a decision until seeing a completed script. If a movie is made, it probably will concentrate on Simpson’s life leading up to the June 12 deaths of his ex-wife and her friend, Grushow said.

The Simpson film would air by late summer or early fall.

Simpson has pleaded innocent to murdering his ex-wife and her friend.