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A Current Affair
Logo a current affair.jpg
A Current Affair logo.
Genre Television news magazine
Presented by Maury Povich (1986-1990)
Maureen O'Boyle (1990-1994)
Penny Daniels (1994-1995)
Jon Scott (1995-1996)
Tim Green (2005)
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
Running time 22 minutes
Original channel Fox; syndication
Original run 19861996; 2005

A Current Affair is a television newsmagazine that ran from 1986 to 1996 before reappearing briefly in 2005. The show was produced by 20th Century Fox (and long based at Fox's New York flagship WNYW) and aired on most Fox Television Stations; however, in both incarnations it was a syndicated series, not a Fox Network program (as suggested by a Saturday Night Live episode where Maury Povich discusses Fox in the monologue with Ed O'Neill, star of the network's Married...with Children at the time).

The logo of the show is a distinctive pyramid with a "zoom-like" sound effect (immortalized as the "ka-chung") for a theme. While showing some hard news stories, the focus of the show is often entertainment, scandals, gossip and exploitative tabloid journalism. It was popular during the 1990s when magazine-type news shows were common during daytime television. Its main competitors were Hard Copy and Inside Edition, along with the many talk shows that dominated daytime TV during the 1990s.

Maury Povich and WNYW news anchors Maureen O'Boyle and Jim Ryan both served as show hosts during its original run. One of its lead personalities was Steve Dunleavy, a columnist for the New York Post, which like WNYW and Fox Television is part of the News Corporation empire.

Initially, the show broadcast as an irreverent, late-night New York City broadcast on WNYW, but as it expanded, the show began to cover stories throughout America that were overlooked or ignored by the then-dominant network news organizations. By 1989, the show's coverage of controversies and scandals caused the show's demographic to change significantly and to challenge the authority of network television news.


Waning popularity

When actor George Clooney launched a public campaign to boycott the show Hard Copy, similar shows started gaining a negative reputation. By the time the first incarnation of A Current Affair ended in 1996, the quality of the show degraded to the point that the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live made regular parodies of stories A Current Affair was reporting.

Fox News Sunday and the Fox News Channel, both Fox productions, debuted the same year as A Current Affair was canceled, likely indicating a change of focus within the company.


On March 21, 2005, Fox began airing new episodes of A Current Affair after an 9-year hiatus. Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end and lawyer Tim Green hosted the new edition, known unofficially as ACA 2. In resurrecting the show, Fox gave the show a more serious tone by covering more news and crime, rather than entertainment-oriented stories. As with the original incarnation, overt politicizing was left out of the show. The series aired on all Fox owned and operated stations (O&O's). This resurrection would be short lived, however, as the departure from the Fox organization of Lachlan Murdoch and his replacement by Fox News chief Roger Ailes led to Fox's announcement that Ailes would replace the show with Geraldo at Large in November 2005, only seven months after ACA 2 premiered.

Suspicions that Ailes pulled the show because the ACA team was competing with, and sometimes besting his cable Fox News Channel, were intensified in October 2005, when, after its cancellation was announced, ACA broadcast an exclusive interview with Natalee Holloway murder suspect Joran van der Sloot, and Rivera revealed to the press that Ailes planned to use the timeslot as a beachhead for the establishment of a Fox News nightly newscast. [1]


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