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ABC Apologizes for Steamy Football Intro

November 16, 2004 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ ABC apologized Tuesday for a steamy intro to ``Monday Night Football″ after receiving complaints from viewers and the NFL.

The spot featured a naked Nicollette Sheridan jumping into the arms of Terrell Owens.

Before the Philadelphia-Dallas game, ABC showed Owens and Sheridan in an empty locker room in an attempt to spoof the network hit ``Desperate Housewives.″ Sheridan, who stars in the show, was wearing only a towel and provocatively asked Owens to skip the game for her.

After she dropped her towel, he agreed to be late for the contest and hugged her. Then the shot panned out to two more stars of ``Desperate Housewives,″ Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman, watching the scene unfold on a television and commenting on desperate women.

``We have heard from many of our viewers about last night’s MNF opening segment and we agree that the placement was inappropriate,″ ABC said in a statement. ``We apologize.″

The NFL called the intro ``inappropriate and unsuitable for our `Monday Night Football’ audience.″

``While ABC may have gained attention for one of its other shows, the NFL and its fans lost,″ NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.