As this year's fall TV season begins, a conservative advocacy
group maintains that broadcast networks are determined to deluge
families with increased graphic and unwarranted content during
The pilot episode of the CW's Emily Owens, M.D., set to
debut this month, features one female character calling another
character in the show an offensive term. The fall season will see a
flood of shows that glamorize serial killers, including NBC's
Hannibal, based off the famed cannibal in Silence of
the Lambs, and Fox's The Following, which features an
FBI agent who teams up with a serial killer to solve crimes.
Melissa Henson, director of
communications for the Parents Television Council (PTC), says such
material has become par for the course.
"What we have seen over the past several years, this progression
toward more and more offensive content on the … broadcast networks
during the primetime viewing hours, and I think the networks have
gotten bolder and bolder in pushing the offensive content out
there," she submits.
Henson relates with parents who often feel waged in a
battle against popular culture.
"You've got a multi-billion dollar a year industry telling your
kids that this is what cool looks like, and this is what you have
to watch to fit in, and this is how you have to behave to fit in.
And you have Mom and Dad constantly saying, No -- don't watch
that; don't behave that way; don't dress that way," she
offers. "And to the kid, who is being influenced by a multi-billion
dollar media campaign, Mom and Dad seem like the bad guys."
The PTC communications director adds that parents who want to
avoid such shows have an inadequate rating system to rely upon. In
her group's recent
study of the TV rating system, researchers found that ratings
often fail to reflect the type or amount of adult-themed content
within the shows; and programs were frequently underrated, exposing
children to explicit content without warning.