Stretching TV standards-Truth!
TV Shows For the 2001-2002 Season Are Going To Be Stretching Moral Standards–Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
This report from Newsmax.com quotes several TV producers as saying things like there may be a TV character in the new 2001-2002s eason who uses God’s name in vain and other challenges to traditional standards (Complete article below).
This eRumor is referring to an article in the New York Times on September 2, 2001 by James Rutenberg. It is titled, “As Cable Applies Pressure, Network TV Spouts Expletives.”
Last updated 9/4/01
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
Networks Plan on Blaspheming God – Most Shocking TV Season Ever By John Edwards
The major TV networks are planning a full-scale attack on traditional values and sensibilities with this fall’s upcoming TV season, NewsMax.com has learned.
ABC, CBS and NBC are considering dropping many of the few remaining standards on network prime-time TV programs – and will likely allow expletives and four-letter words never spoken before on broadcast TV.
The New York Times reported over the Labor Day weekend that NBC’s “The West Wing” program is planning on breaking “a longstanding network taboo” this fall.
Aaron Sorkin, the executive producer of “The West Wing,” told the Times he is planning for “a character to curse in a way that uses the Lord’s name in vain.”
Sorkin and his cronies at NBC are not the only ones trying to undermine civility. Other plans being touted by the networks include:
· ABC’s “Philly” is planning on using the word “Sh–” – which has never aired before on an ABC program. · CBS executives have told the Times they are considering “scripts for programs that include every crude word imaginable” – including the “F” word that has never been uttered on broadcast TV. (The Times described the “F” word as the same word one would use to describe the making of stem cells, i.e., fertilized embryos.) · CBS will air “Wolf Lake” – a new TV show about a fictional town where people can become wolves. The program will begin with a nudity warning, and CBS executives told the Times “the first episode contains a particularly revealing sex scene.”
The free-for-all attitude on the use of expletives and shocking scenes doesn’t come in a vacuum.
Little by little, broadcast networks have been tackling industry standards and challenging public decency – with no complaint from the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC is charged with maintaining decency and standards on the airwaves. The airwaves are owned by the public, and networks broadcast by license and at the discretion of the public.
Still, the Times reports that “the F.C.C. said the number of indecency complaints involving television remained negligible and no actions had been taken against stations for network programs this year.”
“What’s really happening now is a transformation to the daily normalization of this,” Robert Thompson, professor of media at Syracuse University, told the Times. “It’s commonplace to hear erection jokes on ‘Friends’ at 8 o’clock; even gentle little programs like ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ have the kind of stuff that, when it played on ‘Three’s Company’ 20 years ago, made the PTA go completely ballistic.”
Network executives say that several reasons are forcing them to program down-market.
The success of cable shows like HBO’s “The Sopranos” – which uses graphic scenes and expletives – is drawing viewers away from broadcast TV.
The major networks claim they fear the loss of key advertisers, who are seeking the youth market, the market that is seeking and finding more risqué material on cable networks.
Still, the Times contends, apathy by the public is the major reason the networks are moving to lower standards.