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DirecTV’s The 101 Sets Start Dates for ‘Wire,’ ‘Supreme Court of Comedy’

PBS reveals ”POV“ titles, CBS promotes Abseck and A&E works with NeuroFocus to test viewer involvement in shows

DirecTV’s The 101 adds two series to its lineup this summer. Critically acclaimed “The Wire,” which originally ran on HBO, begins airing July 18 at 10 p.m., while the third season of DirecTV’s original “Supreme Court of Comedy” launches Thursday, June 17, at 10 p.m. (all times ET/PT).

Thirteen episodes of “Supreme Court” will air commercial-free and in HD. Comedians Kevin Nealon and Jamie Kennedy kick off the season by taking opposing sides in a dispute over designer bras. The series is described as “The People’s Court” with a twist, with real-life small claims cases being tried by America’s top comedians at the Laugh Factory comedy club. The half-hour, unscripted series is executive produced by the Laugh Factory and True Entertainment.

Dom Irrera returns as presiding “chief justice.” Participating “counselors” include comedians Tom Arnold, Jeff Garlin, Paul Rodriguez, Louie Anderson, Bobby Lee, Paul Mooney, Daniel Tosh, Russell Peters, Tony Rock, Harland Williams, Maz Jobrani, Andy Kindler, Aries Spears and Bryan Callen.

The 101 will start airing all five seasons of Peabody Award-winning series “The Wire,” uncut and commercial-free in HD, on July 18 at 10 p.m. The Baltimore-set series portrays the decaying infrastructure of American urban life, with each season focusing on a different facet of the city (the drug trade, the port, city government and bureaucracy, the school system and the print news media). “The Wire” was created by David Simon and first aired on HBO in 2002. The show was executive produced by Simon, Robert F. Colesberry and Nina Kostroff Noble.

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PBS’ “POV” kicks off its regular season on Tuesday, June 22, at 10 p.m. (or whenever it airs on your local PBS station).

“POV’s” Tuesday night broadcasts continue through Sept. 21, when the season ends with the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.”

The season starts with “William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler” on June 22. The documentary was made by Kunstler’s daughters from his second marriage, who grew up idolizing their father for his historic civil rights and antiwar cases. In their teens, however, they grew disillusioned with this stubborn man who was defending clients such as a man charged with assassinating a rabbi and terrorists accused of bombing the World Trade Center. The film won the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth Vision Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

A memoir from filmmaker Agnès Varda, “The Beaches of Agnès,” follows on June 29. Director Varda (“Vagabond,” “Cléo From 5 to 7”), now 81, looks back at her life through her films. She uses film clips, old photos and re-enactments to revisit her Belgian youth, association with the French New Wave, marriage to director Jacques Demy (“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”) and the making of her movies.

Yoruba Richen’s “Promised Land” airs on July 6, examining the unresolved issues between blacks and white in post-apartheid South Africa. The film follows two black communities as they struggle to reclaim land from white owners, some of whom who have lived there for generations.

On July 13, it’s “Good Fortune” by Landon Van Soest, exploring how massive international efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa may be undermining the very communities they aim to benefit. The gripping stories of two Kenyans battling to save their homes from large-scale development present a unique opportunity see foreign aid through eyes of the people it is intended to help.

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CBS Communications promoted Barbara Abseck to vice president, East Coast.

Her promotion was announced Monday by Phil Gonzales, VP communications, CBS Entertainment, to whom she will report

Abseck will continue to head CBS Communications’ New York Entertainment unit, spearhead the network’s media relations with the New York and East Coast media, and serve as the press liaison for the marketing group’s advertising and promotion campaigns supporting primetime entertainment programming.

This season, Abseck helped launch "Undercover Boss," which premiered after the Super Bowl to an audience of 38.6 million viewers and has become the top-rated new series of this season.

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A&E is plumbing the depths of viewers’ subconscious reactions to its programming.

The cable network is working with NeuroFocus to apply “21st-century marketing science” to its series “Intervention,” gauging reaction to both program content and the advertising contained within the show.

Mel Berning, executive VP of ad sales for AETN, said in a statement: "Understanding the effects that program content has on viewers’ response to advertising – and to an extent, vice versa – is a persistent question that everyone wants answered, definitively. But conventional research methods are hard-pressed to get at the heart of that issue. Neurological testing, on the other hand, delved right to the source, the subconscious, and delivered the answers. That breakthrough was the catalyst for our decision to commission a NeuroLab from NeuroFocus."

NeuroFocus, the world’s leading neuromarketing company, builds and operates stand-alone neurological testing laboratories for a wide range of clients in the U.S. and abroad. These NeuroLabs are fully staffed with neuroscientists, neurophysiologists, market researchers and consultants, all dedicated to a single client’s operations.

"A&E Television Networks is the first cable and satellite TV company to have this cutting-edge capability in-house, and we see tremendous opportunities to use it not only for our own research, but to help our advertising partners gain competitive advantages for themselves," said Michael Greco, executive VP for research at AETN. "The possibilities for advanced understanding of how viewers truly respond to our programming, our promotions, and the advertising running in our schedule are practically limitless. Capturing insights at the subconscious level makes NeuroFocus a unique and critical tool in our tool kit. Plus, the results are detailed and designed to be actionable very quickly and efficiently."

With the "Intervention" study, NeuroFocus’ research proved conclusively that programming with strongly emotional content actually enhanced the effectiveness of commercials run within that programming.