For years now, cable and television networks have continued to push the boundaries when it comes to sex, violence, and profanity. But a recent survey conducted by one of the premium cable networks finds viewers would rather have more wholesome shows to watch.
HBO "has consistently produced content which normalizes rape myths, sexual violence, and commercial sexual exploitation through sexually exploitive depictions of sex and sexual violence." That's according to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which cites shows like Game of Thrones and The Deuce.
Interestingly, the HBO blockbuster hit Game of Thrones is wrapping after eight violent, profane, and gratuitously sexual seasons – and the network is wondering how to keep the 30-million-plus viewers paying for subscriptions.
Melissa Henson of Parent's Television Council says HBO sent out a survey to gather feedback from its subscribers – and among the findings were some the premium channel might not have expected.
"In every instance, the majority of viewers were saying that they don't like a lot of sex on TV, they don't like a lot of violence on TV, they don't like a lot of profanity on TV," she summarizes.
And it wasn't just concerned parents weighing in, she explains. "They're not just asking Are you concerned about your kids seeing this sort of thin?. They're asking adult viewers How do you feel about this kind of content?"
Henson says there's a lesson to be learned from the survey – if HBO is willing to listen. "They would be able to attract an audience – perhaps an even bigger audience – if they could produce a series that didn't contain those elements," she argues.
But PTC notes there are fewer and fewer shows on TV that are family fare designed to appeal to all Americans. According to Henson, Last Man Standing (FOX) is one of the last. The popular series is set to air its 150th episode on Friday, April 19.