A Current Affair
is a television newsmagazine
that ran from 1986
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
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.
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
On March 21
, Fox began airing new episodes of A Current Affair
after an 8-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
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.
- The famous short theme song would be adopted as a sound effect in the online chat program ICQ.
- A trick that the main characters in Dumb and Dumber played on a blind child appears later in the film as a "scam" on A Current Affair.