The Parents Television Council says a new reality series on TLC is just the latest in a string of basic cable networks "using provocative titles and explicit content in a desperate move to attract attention."
The show Sex in Public debuts Friday (October 2) at 10 p.m. (Eastern). According to reports, a "therapist" goes undercover and tries to talk to strangers on the street and other places in the hopes of getting them to open up about their sex lives on camera.
PTC's Melissa Henson says it's just part of a trend of cable networks using "sleazy tactics" to attract viewers. "It used to be that you had to seek out this kind of content," she laments, "but now it's everywhere – and parents have to be constantly vigilant in order to protect their kids from this kind of content."
It also concerns Henson that viewers are forced to subsidize this show with a portion of their cable bill – a situation PTC has long been critical of.
"If this were to air on a premium cable channel like HBO or Cinemax or Showtime, that's one thing – because you're paying a premium to bring this content into your home and if you don't like it you always have the option of canceling your subscription of that premium cable channel," she explains.
"But you don't have that option with the advertisers' support of basic cable networks. It comes as part of a package. You are paying for it whether you want it or not.'
PTC is urging TLC to reconsider plans to air the show and at the same time urging advertisers to steer clear of it.
TLC is the same network that axed the Duggar family's 19 Kids and Counting last year.