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Show To Debut Without Commercials

September 14, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The doctor is in and the ads are out for the new ABC medical drama ``Gideon’s Crossing.″

The series’ first episode will air without commercial interruption Oct. 11, the network said Wednesday. The hourlong show will feature a single sponsor, health care conglomerate Johnson & Johnson, offering brief messages at the beginning and end of the program.

``With attention spans shorter and viewers surfing TV as much as watching it, ABC has taken this special episode of ‘Gideon’s Crossing’ and treated it in a special way,″ said Andrea Alstrup, a Johnson & Johnson executive.

The company did not disclose what it was paying to sponsor the program.

Alstrup spoke at a news conference attended by series star Andre Braugher (``Homicide: Life on the Street″) and co-stars including Ruben Blades and Eric Dane. Braugher plays Dr. Ben Gideon, chief of experimental surgery at a Boston teaching hospital.

A broadcast network drama has never aired without commercial breaks, ABC said.