For most Americans, the plummeting economy means substituting Captain Crunch for Admiral Snack'ems, Dr. Pepper for Dr. Skipper, and Mac 'n Cheese for pieces of cardboard in melted parmesan. For major television networks, the financial nosedive means cancelling some of its pricier shows outright.
If shows were kept around based on their quality, television would be unrecognizable. Unfortunately, great shows are often rewarded by throwing them out on the curb as the business is cruel to those that can't find audiences. Another round of eliminations is just around the corner, and these shows are in danger of being sent packing. But do any of them have a chance at survival?
You might notice less digitized nudity on reality shows soon.
Today, President Bush signed into law a new bill that boosts the fines levied against TV stations for indecency from $32,500 to $325,000. The law, called the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, was lobbied heavily for by conservatives who see TV networks as symbolic of a moral decline in America.
In remarks at the signing, Bush said the fines shot up so dramatically because "Congress got serious."
"Every day our nation's parents strive to raise their children in a culture that too often produces coarse, vulgar, and obscene entertainment. Parents are the first line of defense, but broadcasters and the electronics industry must play a valuable role in protecting our children from obscene and indecent programming," Bush said. "Unfortunately, in recent years, broadcast programming has too often pushed the bounds of decency."
Steam began gathering for a change ...Read more
The head of the US Federal Communications Commission told television broadcasters Tuesday they should know what is indecent because the law has not changed in more than 25 years.
Republican FCC Chairman Kevin Martin denied accusations by broadcasters that recent agency decisions, which found that several programs that included profanity were indecent, had failed to give sufficient guidance on what can be aired on television.
"The commission's findings recently on indecency did not extend beyond some of the same words that were found to be upheld by the Supreme Court in the 1970s," Martin said at the National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) annual convention.
The FCC ruled in March that several television broadcasts by CBS, Fox, and ABC violated decency standards by airing profanity on shows.
The television networks and their local affiliate stations have appealed those rulings ...Read more
On March 15, the FCC reached decisions in hundreds of thousands of backlogged indecency complaints it had received since 2004. The commission slapped almost $4 million dollars in fines on various networks, with CBS getting the lion's share at $3.6 million. A new poll says the despite the brouhaha, most Americans don't want the Feds to control their TV.
The media group Television Watch, a coalition of individuals and organizations that oppose government control of TV and promote tools such as parental education instead, conducted the nationwide survey with Reed Research between March 24 to 26. The poll asked TV viewers who they want in control of what's on TV--individuals or the FCC.
Despite a huge spike in indecency complaints--NBC show Las Vegas received 140,000 in January 2006 alone--it turns out most people want themselves, not Uncle Sam, deciding what they watch. The survey shows ...Read more
One particular line in the FCC's recent announcement that it would fine CBS stations for airing a gritty episode of Without A Trace echoes a little more loudly than the rest: "The explicit and lengthy nature of the depictions of sexual activity, including apparent intercourse, goes well beyond what the story line could reasonably be said to require."
Producers could be forgiven for thinking that decisions on story line needs were their call--tempered, of course, by the influence that networks, studios and sponsors have over the content of any program. But the Federal Communications Commission weighed in Wednesday by levying a total of $3.6 million in fines against more than 100 CBS affiliate stations for a Dec. 31, 2004, repeat airing of a Trace episode that included a group-sex scene. (The fines went to CBS affiliate ...Read more
CBS has been the quietest of all the networks during the busy pre-upfront period, keeping the lid tight on its 2009-2010 plans, but word about what's going on behind The Eye is finally getting out. First to hit the street: CBS has renewed Cold Case.