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Press Release

PTC Warns Families About Violent Content in Premiere Episode of “Of Kings and Prophets”

By: Kelly Oliver

Release Date: 3/8/2016

LOS ANGELES (March 8, 2016) – The Parents Television Council is warning families about the violent content on the premiere episode of ABC’s Of Kings and Prophets airing tonight, March 8, after previewing the first episode in the Biblical miniseries.

The PTC’s review indicated that the first episode contains a number of battles with swords, knives, spears, and other graphically violent content that ranges between the type of violent content found in The Lord of the Rings movies and 300. There is some mild sexual content in the first episode. As such, the PTC cannot recommend this show for children.

“Despite the fact that the miniseries is based on a book that most families in America have at home – that book being the Bible – parents should be forewarned that Of Kings and Prophets will not be appropriate for family viewing. While we are grateful that the show runner, Chris Brancato, personally invited us to preview the first episode, it remains difficult for us to recommend this show to families given the graphic content. And given Mr. Brancato said that he’ll be ‘ fighting with broadcast standards and practices ’ and that ‘ we’re going to go as far as we can’ throughout the series, there’s likely to be even more explicit content in upcoming episodes,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“The real question here is, why wouldn’t ABC and the show’s producers want to reach the largest audience possible by making a series, based on the Bible, able to be viewed by families? Instead it appears that their primary objective was to be edgy and explicit, rather than to entertain with a biblical story. And in so doing, they’re carving away a large percentage of their potential market. This further demonstrates a disconnect between what the entertainment industry wants to produce and what family audiences want to consume.”

Dave Johnson, a writer, producer, and PTC advisory board member, made the point this way: “I don’t believe that you have to be gratuitous to tell a story accurately or compellingly. Patton is still considered one of the greatest movies ever made. When I saw it, I didn’t come out of it saying that he [George C. Scott in the role of General George S. Patton] didn’t swear as much as Patton did in real life, so I didn’t like it. That’s just one example. Those little things are not what makes a movie compelling – especially for families. You can certainly tell a riveting story without having to go there. As a creator of content, I understand those are simply choices,” he said.

Mr. Winter added, “We hope that families will be forewarned about the content of this show and not mistakenly watch with their children. No doubt the network will rate the program TV-14, suggesting to parents that the material is appropriate for children as young as fourteen.”

Last week, the PTC alerted the nation’s top 200 advertisers about adult content anticipated on Of Kings and Prophets, which the show runner compared to HBO’s explicit Game of Thrones, saying, “It’s suspenseful. It’s extraordinarily violent. It’s sexual. … We’ve sought to make the show modern…This is a non-dragon version of Game of Thrones."

The Parents Television Council® ( is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media.

This national grassroots organization has more than 1.4 million members, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children.

The PTC™ also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.

Visit the new PTC Watchdog Blog at

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To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver at (703) 307-9404 or email at