• Fox’s ADHD: It’s Not About the Money

    by  • August 21, 2013 • Advertiser Accountability, Cable Choice, Sex, Sexualization • 9 Comments

    Fox’s disgusting new cartoon block ADHD is proving a costly failure for the network.  Yet, Fox is continuing to air the sleazy cartoon show…because money isn’t really what the network’s bosses care about. 

    Since its premiere at the end of July, Fox’s ADHD has blasted explicit sex, gory violence, and foul language at teenagers and even younger children. In the show’s second week, ADHD experienced a 100% increase in teen viewers…but more kids watching has not meant more money for Fox.

    After the first episode of ADHD aired, the PTC called out Extended Stay America, the show’s most prominent sponsor. While the hotel chain has made no announcement, their commercials have not appeared on ADHD in the last few weeks…meaning that they seem to have dropped off the show.

    Nor is Fox raking in money from other sponsors. The vast majority of commercials aired during ADHD are ads for theatrical movies (most made by Fox’s own movie division, 20th Century Fox) or upcoming TV shows. The few other ads are mostly for small, local businesses.

    This proves once again that in Hollywood, it ISN’T all about the money. Every year, the movies that do the best at the box office are overwhelmingly the family-friendly ones. Hollywood could make a lot more money if they gave audiences what they want – clean, safe entertainment the entire family can enjoy.

    But the so-called “creative” writers and artists in Hollywood are more interested in “pushing the envelope.” They seek to deliberately shock and desensitize audiences with ever-more graphic violence, explicit sex, foul language, and disgusting themes and imagery — apparently under the delusion that only dark, pessimistic products which disturb audiences are worthy of being called “art.” And to Hollywood’s executives, nothing is more important than looking cool and cutting edge in front of their entertainment industry cronies…with TV’s viewers, especially impressionable children, caught in the crossfire.

    And now, Fox is using ADHD to push even more horrific content at children and teens…in the hopes that, if they get youngsters hooked today, it will be all the easier to move the show into prime time tomorrow, as Fox Chairman Kevin Reilly has said is his ultimate goal. Because at Fox – as in the rest of Hollywood – the negative effects programming may have on children doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they watch.



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    9 Responses to Fox’s ADHD: It’s Not About the Money

    1. Nos Darkly
      September 14, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      How is 11PM a children’s block? They’ve s block is aimed at late teens and twentysomethings and the humor is more absurd than offensive. I don’t get why you things have such a problem with non-kiddie entertainment. There’s plenty to watch on Halmark, UP, Halmark Movie Channel, Nick, Disney, HUB, etc. If you’re going to declare,”Well, I never…” and fall down with a case of the vapors at any non-G rated moment, just stay away from normal society.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        September 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm

        As we’ve repeatedly made clear, the concern is not with this programming airing at 11:00 p.m.; it is the fact that 1) the program is intended to attract younger children; 2) the (far more explicit website content) is accessible to and targeted at younger children; and 3) Fox’s executives’ plan is ultimately to move the program into prime time, ala Family Guy.

        It’s also telling that you feel that anyone who doesn’t share your view of the ultra-graphic violence and explicit sexual content on ADHD should be excluded from “normal society.”

    2. Terry Chapman
      August 26, 2013 at 7:36 am

      P. S. Why on earth do you people in Hollywood think Duck Dynasty has become such a hit show? Family values, belief in God, prayer, good clean fun with a family who does not always get along but a family who truly loves one another. Get the hint Hollywood! And that one is not even written! Outline and they go from there and it is still better than most network broadcast TV programs.

    3. Terry Chapman
      August 26, 2013 at 7:33 am

      Give us what WE want, not what Hollywood wants us to want. Good, clean, well written and acted programs is what the majority of Americans are looking for. When we cannot find it on network TV, we go to DVD’s, Netflix and other sources of programming or some us, just turn the set off. When my TV is a goner, TV will literally be a goner in my home – unless broadcast TV cleans up its act.

      • Lisa Kirk
        August 30, 2013 at 6:23 am

        Couldn’t agree with you more. We cut off TV in our house 8 months ago and pay Amazon and Netflix for the shows we approve for our family.

        When kids channels air sexualized ads for sleazy new shows on other networks, presumably targeting parents who might be watching, we realized there was no better alternative for us.

        • Mike La Torres
          November 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm

          I couldn’t agree more. We had the hardest time after our children started pre-school keeping them away from Sesame Street (which shocked us as we specifically chose a CHRISTIAN pre-school). Those puppets are mostly naked, PBS is trying to indoctrinate children into thinking naked little kids hanging around clothed good people is normal. It is wretched!!! I can’t imagine what Fox is planning.

          • Christopher Gildemeister
            November 14, 2013 at 8:11 am

            You probably think you’re being terribly clever and satirical. But if you honestly believe there’s no difference between Sesame Street and a cartoon intended for children which shows naked prostitutes being gorily murdered and making jokes about child molestation, then you’re the one with the discernment problem.

    4. Steve
      August 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      I’m pretty sure the limited advertising was FOX’s intention from the beginning.

    5. James Healey
      August 23, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Drop the disgusting programs on the Fox “ADHD” block!!

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