The world's oldest profession has its own television show in Denver, and so far it's the most popular show ever broadcast over the city's public access channel.
It's called Johns TV, and cracking down on the Mile High City's growing prostitution problem is the focus.
Twice a day, pictures and names of johns convicted of soliciting prostitutes are posted on the broadcast along with ominous music and warnings from the police that if "you have any dealings with prostitution, you will likely be arrested and appear on television."
J. Wallace Wortham Jr., the city attorney, says it's paying off. Initial ratings were huge and there was a noticeable lack of prostitutes on the street the next night.
A spokesman for Mayor Wellington Webb says the show is necessary because of complaints from area residents.
"They were finding used condoms in their back yards," says the spokesman, Andrew Hudson. "Some people were finding prostitutes and their clients having sex in the alleys."
But the Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is not pleased with the broadcast.
"Innocent victims in this are going to be the families and relatives of these people whose pictures are posted," says Sue Armstrong, the Colorado ACLU director.
She says the law does not entitle the police to humiliate people, even though they have been convicted and the information is public record.
Passing the Buck?
There are other problems. Some people in Denver say the prostitutes will simply move to the next community as they did years ago when another Colorado city published pictures of convicted johns.
In fact, some say that's why Denver has so many prostitutes today. When neighboring Aurora published the pictures, the prostitutes headed down the street to Denver. Now residents in Lakewood, just west of Denver, are worried.
"If men want to find prostitutes, they will find them," says one resident. "There's a reason it's called the world's oldest profession."
Like a lot of shows, Johns TV may have a limited run. Other cities that tried it were later forced to cancel their programs because of a lack of money or interest.
Five years ago, Kansas City became the first to try it, and some saw it as a huge success, bringing a 48 percent decline in prostitution arrests.
But today, the show is off the air in Kansas City due to a lack of funding, though police say they hope to bring it back soon.
The Denver Police Department is pleased with its results and more programs are in the works. Johns TV will be updated every couple of weeks with new pictures and new names as long as there are new convictions.