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The 101 Network (previously called simply The 101) is the name and number of a DirecTV in-house channel available exclusively on its satellite service throughout the United Statesmarker. Since all subscribers pay for the channel in their "Choice" basic package, most programs are unedited and commercial free.


What would eventually become The 101 Network launched in 1999 as a continuous loop of concerts and other events on channel 103. It was relocated to channel 124 several years later, ultimately moving to its current position on channel 101. The channel was initially known as "FREEVIEW" because it was part of all subscription packages, starting with Total Choice. Since 2005, the program schedule for The 101 Network has expanded to include original shows.

Former programming

The first original program on The 101 Network was CD USA, was pop music show reminiscent of the longtime favorite American Bandstand. CD USA aired every Saturday evening and ran all weekend long. This channel also showed American Idol Extra, a weekly recap program, on weekends throughout the 2006 season of Idol after it had premiered Thursdays on Fox Reality.

Other former original shows have included the Championship Gaming Invitational, Championship Gaming Series, The FIZZ, and Project My World.

Syndicated series

DirecTV and NBC Studiosmarker announced on April 25, 2007 that new episodes of NBC's daytime soap opera Passions would begin airing exclusively on The 101 Network on September 17, 2007. According to the announcement, the show would retain its 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. Passions is the first soap opera to be on a subscription service and it is the first series to make such a transition from broadcast television. 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. The 101 Network subsequently aired repeat episodes of SoapNet's original soap opera limited series, General Hospital: Night Shift throughout Night Shift July to October 2008 run on SoapNet.

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 101 Network in the form of 13 first-run episodes. The series is the second ever from a broadcast television network to air first run episodes to a satellite subscription service, after Passions. After The 101 Network 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.

The 101 Network broadcast the documentary travel/adventure series Odyssey: Driving Around the World starting June 2008.

Starting in January 2009, The 101 Network aired Wonderland, a controversial show that 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. Another short-lived ABC show, The Nine, began airing on the network on May 27, 2009.

The 101 Network began airing the Canadianmarker comedy series Trailer Park Boys on February 5, 2009. The 101 also airs reruns of the 2005-2006 Showtime drama series Sleeper Cell.

On April 21, 2009, it was announced that The 101 picked up the syndication rights to Oz and Deadwood.

The 101 began airing Smith on April 8, 2009.

On September 17, 2009, DirecTV announced that The 101 Network has picked up exclusive U.S. rights to the Australian miniseries Underbelly. It will begin airing on February 10, 2010.

Original shows

Supreme Court of Comedy

Supreme Court of Comedy is an original show on The 101 that premiered in 2008. It is a pseudo court show with Dom Irrera as the judge and several comedians or actors playing lawyers, including Kevin Pollak, Jon Lovitz, Jamie Kennedy, Paul Mooney, Tom Papa, Tom Arnold, Paul Rodriguez, Aries Spears, George Wallace, Victoria Jackson, Rich Hall, Louie Anderson, and Bob Marley. The plaintiffs and defendants are regular people with actual court cases, however the show has no legal standing in the eyes of the law. The show has been renewed for a second season.

Rock & a Hard Place

Rock in a Hard Place is a celebrity game show, hosted by Meat Loaf, that premiered in the fall of 2008. Rock bands (mostly from the 1970s and 1980s, but some from the 1990s) are the teams. The episodes have included A Flock of Seagulls vs. Toto, Right Said Fred vs. Bananarama, Leif Garrett vs. Bay City Rollers, Diva vs. Color Me Badd, Jeffrey Osborne vs. Tony Orlando, Quiet Riot All Stars vs. Air Supply, The Skinners vs. The Shredders, Tommy Tutone vs. Ray Parker, Jr., Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam vs. Da Brat, Everclear vs. Starship, and Sha Na Na vs. War.

Havoc on The 101

Havoc on The 101 broadcasts live web / phone text chats over music videos and action sports clips. Viewers can vote for which video they want to see next via those chats.

Hometown Heroes

Hometown Heroes chronicles DirecTV customers who are local heroes in their communities. It is hosted by Joan Lunden.


The 101 produces exclusive concerts of several popular bands. See here for a complete list.

The Dan Patrick Show

On March 16, 2009, it was announced that Dan Patrick will host a sports talk show on The 101, based on his popular nationally syndicated radio program, The Dan Patrick Show. It premiered on August 3, 2009 and airs live weekdays from 9:00 AM to noon Eastern.


Celebrity Beach Bowl

During Super Bowl week, DirecTV holds a celebrity flag football game, (dubbed Beach Bowl) in which one team was "Sunday Ticket" and the other was "Super Fan", both references to DirecTV's exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket package. The celebrities in 2009 included Blake Lively, Penn Badgley, Eli Manning, Christian Slater, Kevin Dillon, Odette Yustman, Brody Jenner, Dave Annable, Frankie Delgado, Zach Gilford, Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Jayde Nicole, Pilar Lastra, Eddie George, Merril Hoge, Jamal Anderson, John Kidd, Kasey Kahne, Chris Myers, Reggie Bush, James Brown, Phil Simms, Warren Sapp, Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Forte, and Jenn Brown.LL Cool J gave a concert afterwards. The game and concert also aired on WGN America.

Bracket Breakdown

Bracket Breakdown is an exclusive March Madness pre-game show with several college basketball analysts and insiders, including Louisville's Rick Pitino, Kentucky's John Calipari, Oklahoma's Jeff Capel, Tennessee's Bruce Pearl and Washington's Lorenzo Romar and former UCLA player and current sports talk radio show host Sean Farnham.


The 101 was the only channel that carried the 2009 SXSW Festival concert live.

Movies and previews

During the Halloween period in 2006, The 101 Network showed several themed movies, including The Toxic Avenger.

On February 23, 2007 and February 24, 2007, The 101 aired a preview of Chiller, the new cable channel from NBC Universal dedicated to horror programming that launched on channel 257 on DIRECTV March 1, 2007. Programming featured during this preview included the two-hour pilot episode of Twin Peaks, the pilot episode of American Gothic, episodes of Monsters, Tales from the Crypt, Night Gallery, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Friday the 13th: The Series, and various horror movies.

The 101 Network has aired a number of dramatic series a few days before their scheduled premiers on Showtime including The Tudors in March 2007 and Nurse Jackie in June 2009.

On August 24, 2007, The 101 aired an exclusive high-definition broadcast of High School Musical 2, one week after its premiere on Disney Channel. A high definition version of Disney Channel launched in 2008.


  1. DirecTV - The 101 Official Site
  2. DIRECTV Announces DIRECTV FREEVIEW Series of Special Programming Events; Exclusive Series Offered Free of Charge to Customers. BNET, November 18, 1999.
  3. DirecTV Press Release March 16, 2006 DIRECTV Gives Die Hard Fans More Ways to Watch 'American Idol Extra'; Delivering Weekly Encore Performances of 'American Idol Extra,' DIRECTV Customers Will Have Access to Behind-the-Scenes Action with Top Twelve Finalists
  4. Championship Gaming Series Information
  5. Access DirecTV Magazine April 2007 Me, Myself and I TV
  6. DirecTV Press Release September 25, 2006 DIRECTV's New Original Series Project MyWorld Sends Three Friends to Conquer the World with Their MySpace Friends
  7. DirecTV - Project My World, only on The 101
  8. ~ "NBC’S Passions to work its magic on DIRECTV viewers with all new episodes beginning September 17"
  9. April 25, 2007 DIRECTV Unsure On Passions In HDTV
  10. Passions: DirecTV Cancellation Confirmed
  11. DirecTV - Sleeper Cell on The 101
  12. DirecTV Press Release April 21, 2009 - Customers To Get a Jolt of Drama With the Addition of Deadwood and Oz
  13. DirecTV 101s Fresh Look
  14. DirecTV - Smith, only on The 101
  15. DirecTV Press Release September 17, 2009 DIRECTV Takes Viewers Deep Into the "Underbelly" of the Australian Crime World
  16. DirecTV - Supreme Court of Comedy, only on The 101
  17. DirecTV - Rock & a Hard Place, only on The 101
  18. DirecTV - Havoc on The 101
  19. DirecTV - Hometown Heroes, only on The 101
  20. DirecTV Press Release March 16, 2009 Dan Patrick Signs Up For New TV Show on DIRECTV
  21. DirecTV Press Release January 26, 2009 Sports Icons and Today's Hottest Celebrities Kick Off Super Bowl Weekend at DIRECTV's 3rd Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl
  22. DirecTV Press Release March 4, 2009 DIRECTV's Exclusive 'Bracket Breakdown' is College Hoops' Ultimate Meeting of the Minds
  23. DIRECTV Announces Lineup For SXSW Live, The Only Live Television Broadcast From The Trendsetting Music Festival, Airing March 20-21 On DIRECTV's The 101(R) Network
  24. Multichannel News August 21, 2007 DirecTV airs High School Musical 2 in HD

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