Audience Network (formerly The 101 Network and originally Freeview) is DirecTV's exclusive general entertainment television channel. Since subscribers pay for the channel in their "Choice" basic package, most programs are uncut and commercial free.
Freeview launched on November 25, 1999, as a continuous loop of concerts and other events on channel 103. It was part of all subscription packages, starting with Total Choice. In 2008, it was moved to channel 101 and re-branded to 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). The program schedule for the channel has expanded to include original shows. The channel was rebranded as Audience Network on June 1, 2011.
The Dan Patrick Show has aired weekday mornings since August 2009. The telecast was originally exclusive to Audience Network, but since October 25, 2010, the show has been simulcast on Fox Sports Net affiliates, and on NBCSN as well.
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 show was renamed The Artie Lange Show due to Nick DiPaolo leaving to pursue other opportunities.
In April 2013, Audience Network green-lit a ten episode first season for the drama series Full Circle. The series filmed mid-2013 in Los Angeles.
Starting in January 2009, the channel aired Wonderland, a controversial show that had been broadcast briefly on ABC in the spring of 2000. The run included all eight episodes of the series, six of which had never been aired.
DirecTV and NBC Studios announced on April 25, 2007, that new episodes of NBC's daytime soap operaPassions would begin airing exclusively on the channel on September 17, 2007. According to the announcement, the show would retain its 1:00 p.m.CST – 2:00 p.m. ET time slot, with episodes rerun on weekends. Passions had aired on NBC since 1999, but in January 2007 the network announced it would not renew the show for a ninth season, and its run on NBC ended on September 7, 2007. In December 2007, DirecTV announced that it would not pick up Passions from NBC for a tenth season, and aired the finale on August 7, 2008.
DirecTV, NBC, and Universal Media Studios announced on April 2, 2008, that starting on October 1, 2008, the third season of the NBC series Friday Night Lights would first air on the channel in the form of 13 first-run episodes. After DirecTV finished airing the third season episodes of Friday Night Lights, starting on January 16, 2009 NBC aired the third season with edited scenes. 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 picked up the rights of Damages, formerly on FX, and renewed it for two seasons. It began airing reruns of seasons 1–3 on January 5, 2011. Season 4 premiered on Audience Network on July 13, 2011, and the fifth and final season premiered on July 11, 2012.
DirecTV aired repeats of HBO's The Wire starting on July 18, 2010.
In recent years, DirecTV began acquiring exclusive US off-network rights to shows originally from England, Canada, and Australia. The channel began airing the Canadian comedy series Trailer Park Boys on February 5, 2009. On September 17, 2009, DirecTV announced that they have picked up rights to the Australian miniseries Underbelly, which began airing on February 3, 2010. On September 28, 2010 DirecTV acquired rights to the British shows No Heroics, How Not to Live Your Life and Mutual Friends, which premiered in November 2010. On February 10, 2011, DirecTV acquired rights to the Canadian series Call Me Fitz, which premiered 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 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.
On August 24, 2007, Audience Network aired an exclusive high-definition broadcast of High School Musical 2, one week after its premiere on Disney Channel, though the high definition version of Disney Channel didn't launch until 2008.
Havoc on The 101 broadcast live web / phone text chats over music videos and action sports clips. Viewers could vote for which video they want to see next via those chats. The chats are from the website Havoc.tv. The shows were executive produced by Lloyd Bryan Adams.
Hometown Heroes chronicled DirecTV customers who are local heroes in their communities. It was hosted by Joan Lunden.