Audience Network is an Americansatellitetelevision network that is owned by DirecTV, LLC. A general entertainment network that is exclusive to the satellite provider, it features a mix of series, specials and feature films. The network operates as a commercial-free service and broadcasts its programming without editing for content, as DirecTV customers must subscribe to its "Select" basic package in order to receive the channel.
The network launched on November 25, 1999 as Freeview, a service on DirecTV channel 103 carrying a continuous loop of concerts and other events. Freeview was part of all of the satellite provider's subscription packages, starting with the Total Choice tier. In 2005, it was moved to channel 101 and was rebranded as the The 101 Network (as a suffix, "101" is college jargon for basic classes or, in more general terms, a way to describe any basic concept). Following the rebrand, the channel's schedule began to expand to include original programs. The channel was rebranded as Audience Network on June 1, 2011.
Original series broadcast by Audience Network (and its various incarnations) include:
The Dan Patrick Show – a television simulcast of the weekday morning syndicated sports radio program, which debuted on the network in August 2009. The telecast was originally exclusive to the Audience Network; however, the show began to simulcast on the affiliates of Fox Sports Net in October 25, 2010;NBCSN replaced Fox Sports Net as its secondary broadcast partner in 2013.
In May 2012, Audience Network announced its first original drama series, Rogue.
In September 2012, Audience Network began airing The Nick & Artie Show, a syndicated sports and comedy radio show hosted by comedians Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange. The show airs live once a week on Friday nights with various taped replays during the week. On January 14, 2013, the program was renamed The Artie Lange Show, after Nick DiPaolo left to pursue other opportunities.
In April 2013, Audience Network greenlit a ten-episode first season for the drama series Full Circle. The series filmed during mid-2013 in Los Angeles.
Starting in January 2009, the channel aired Wonderland, a controversial drama series that had briefly aired on ABC in the spring of 2000. The run included all eight episodes of the series, six of which were not originally aired during the program's ABC run.
DirecTV and NBC Studios announced on April 25, 2007, that new episodes of the soap operaPassions would begin airing exclusively on the channel on September 17, 2007, retaining its 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time timeslot that it held during its NBC run, with reruns airing on weekends. The series, which had aired on NBC since 1999, was picked up by The 101 after NBC decided to cancel Passions after eight seasons in January 2007 to expand Today to four hours on September 10, 2007 (three days after its final episode on the network). In December 2007, DirecTV announced that it would not pick up Passions from NBC for a tenth season, the series finale aired on August 7, 2008.
DirecTV, NBC, and Universal Media Studios announced a deal on April 2, 2008, in which The 101 would carry the 13-episode third season of Friday Night Lights beginning on October 1. Through the deal, after the season ended on The 101, the drama series' third season aired in second-run form on NBC (with some scenes edited) starting on January 16, 2009. On March 31, 2009, NBC and DirecTV announced that they had renewed Friday Night Lights for two additional seasons, again to be broadcast first on DirecTV and then on NBC.
On July 19, 2010, DirecTV announced it had acquired the rights to the former FX drama Damages, and renewed the series for two additional seasons. The 101 began airing reruns of its first three seasons on January 5, 2011. Season 4 premiered on the rebranded Audience Network on July 13, 2011, and the fifth and final season premiered on July 11, 2012.
On February 10, 2011, DirecTV acquired rights to the Canadian series Call Me Fitz, which premiered on the network on April 21, 2011. In the spring of 2011, DirecTV acquired the rights to the Australian series Rake. In the fall of 2011, DirecTV acquired rights to the Canadian sitcom Less Than Kind and the British drama Hit & Miss, the latter of which premiered on June 27, 2012, with a sneak preview, with the first full episode airing on July 11, 2012. DirecTV picked up the rights to the Australian series The Slap and the British series The Shadow Line, which started airing on Audience Network in February 2012.
Audience Network has aired a number of dramatic series a few days before their scheduled premieres on Showtime including The Tudors in March 2007 and Nurse Jackie in June 2009, as well as the Starz series Party Down on April 22, 2010.
On August 24, 2007, Audience Network aired an exclusive high-definition broadcast of High School Musical 2, one week after its premiere on the Disney Channel (Disney Channel did not launch a high definition simulcast feed until August 2008).
Havoc on The 101 broadcast live web/phone text chats, with online chats sourced from the website Havoc.tv, over music videos and action sports clips. Viewers could vote for which video they wanted to see next via those chats. The shows were executive produced by Lloyd Bryan Adams.
Hometown Heroes, which was hosted by Joan Lunden, chronicled DirecTV customers who were local heroes in their communities.