• TBS Detours Into Adult Content — With Children

    by  • April 13, 2016 • Cable Choice, Profanity, Sex, Worst Cable Show of the Week • 18 Comments

    Cable network TBS’ new comedy The Detour is filled with profanity, graphic discussions of sex, and depictions of drug use…and involves two minor children in its adult storylines.

    For most of its existence,  cable network TBS was home to innocuous fare, best known for airing Atlanta Braves baseball games. But now, the former “SuperStation” has joined other cable networks in creating original programming – and appears to have taken a cue from networks like FX and AMC, who not only produce graphic, adult-targeted programming like American Horror Story and The Walking Dead, but who force every cable and satellite subscriber in America to pay for it.

    TBS’ new program The Detour is an adult-themed, gross-out “comedy” in the vein of FXX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. When Nate Parker is fired from his job, he decides to turn his family’s flight to Ft. Lauderdale into a road trip in their broken-down van. Along the way, the family runs into all manner of allegedly “humorous” difficulties, involving strippers, graphic sex talk, and explicit drug use.

    The Detour is appropriately rated TV-MA (mature audiences only), but airs Mondays at 9:00 and 9:30 p.m., the heart of prime time. However, the most troubling aspect of the program is the fact that lead characters Nate and wife Robin’s minor children, Delilah and Jared, are involved in the show’s adult action. In the first two episodes alone, Jared and Delilah enter a strip club and see strippers writhing on poles — and Delilah gets her first menustral period in the strip club’s restroom; receive a talk about the “facts of life” that turns into a discussion of their parents’ sexual problems and hang-ups; and watch internet porn in a hotel business center, while their parents are getting stoned.

    Here are a few samples of the show’s content:

    •         The family pulls into the “Banana Creamery.” It turns out to be a strip club. The strippers wear bikinis. Jared gapes at a stripper, who lies on her back. Her legs are spread wide and she is grinding her crotch against a pole. Other strippers give lap dances to various patrons, revealing  cleavage and bare butts. One holds a bottle of champagne that spurts out liquid. Another stripper hangs by her legs and crotch from a pole. Another pours champagne over her breasts. Nate and Robin grab Jared and drag him out.

    •         Jared talks to a stripper.

              Jared: “Can I see you pop a bottle of champagne with your ass?”

    •         Nate and Robin describe the “facts of life” to Jared and Delilah.

              Robin: “Anyway, after about two or three minutes of really good feelings–”

              Nate: “It’s a lot longer than that.”

              Robin: “— when the man is ready, or sometimes ready a little too early–”

              Nate: “Oh, come on! Twice. It happened twice!”

              Robin: “– the woman accepts the daddy’s seed, called semen.”

              Nate: “Sperm.”

              Robin: “Sperm.”

               Delilah: “What’s that look like?”

               Jared: “Like a white map of Hawaii.”

               Nate and Robin glare at him.

               Jared: “That’s what Toddy says.”

              Robin: “It’s like, ummmm, like shampoo.”

              Nate: “No, it’s less thick. It’s like tahini sauce.”

             Robin: “Sure. It’s saucier, but, yeah.”

             Delilah: “Wait. How do you know what it tastes like? You don’t eat it, do you?”

              Robin: “You do, sometimes. On special occasions. Birthdays.”

            Jared: “Do you eat hers?”

            Robin: “No, no. Women don’t have semen. But rest assured, if they did, your father would go nowhere near it.”

            Nate: “Well, thanks to a three-week menstrual cycle —”

    •         Jared has driven the family car into a ditch.

              Nate: “It’s not our fault he’s such a shitty driver.”  

              Robin: “He’s only 11.”   

              Nate: “Still pretty shitty.”

    While The Detour is targeted at and rated appropriately for adults, is it really necessary to air the program in prime time – or to involve children in the obviously adult storylines?

    While TBS can claim that children shouldn’t be watching the program – that’s why it’s rated MA, after all — the actors playing the children are themselves children, and they are obviously being exposed to the show’s adult content. (Ashley Gerasimovich, who plays Delilah, is 12, while son Jared, played by Liam Carroll, is around the same age.)

    Finally, there is the fact that, like FX and AMC, TBS is forcing every cable and satellite subscriber in America to pay for this programming…even though only a tiny minority are likely to find it funny.

    Clearly, TBS is desperate for the program to be a hit; the network ordered a second season of The Detour before the first episode even premiered. The network is apparently equally desperate to promote the program’s showrunner, ex-Daily Show writer Samantha Bee; every single commercial break featured a promo for Bee’s late-night talk show, Full Frontal.

    Unfortunately for TBS, the April 11th premiere of The Detour garnered barely more than a million viewers – literally less than 1% of the cable viewership of America. And unfortunately for the other 99% of cable and satellite subscribers not enamored of profanity-laced, sex-slathered storylines involving minors, they are still paying for TBS’ Detour into bad taste.






    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.

    18 Responses to TBS Detours Into Adult Content — With Children

    1. Mary-Anne
      June 5, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      Has a petition begun to combat this show?

      • Justin
        January 10, 2017 at 10:45 pm

        No because that would be a gross overreaction.

        • Jay
          January 26, 2017 at 4:43 am

          Love how you took the time to reply to every comment trying to change everyone’s opinion Justin… You obviously care more than you should if you oppose the work of PTC. Why not just go rave about the show or something on IMDb if you love and support these types shows so much? You’re mad at them for trying to affect people’s opinions on this show, and yet you’re doing the same thing, taking time away from doing something useful (if you even know how) to reply to EVERY comment. To quote DJ Khaled, “Congratulations, you played yourself”.

    2. weaselspleen
      May 29, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      I find it hilarious that you are claiming the networks are forcing people to pay for these shows. Do you really not understand how cable TV works? You are not paying the networks a penny, you are paying your cable company, and they are the ones who decide what channels to provide. Such a ridiculous accusation really destroys your credibility. Show me a monthly bill for a specific show? Oh yeah you can’t because that is not how it works.

      • July 6, 2019 at 1:47 pm

        Weaselspelen (if that really is your name)… YOU have no idea how TV works. Cable and satellite companies negotiate contracts with the various networks, offering their content to subscribers. Subscribers pay the cable or satellite companies for the packaged content, but much of the money is then paid out to the various networks per subscriber at the agreed-upon rate in their contracts. So when a person buys a package from their provider, they’re paying all the networks in that package, whether they watch them or not. It’s folly to think the networks are spending the gross amount of time and money to produce “entertainment” to just give it away for free.

    3. Rachel
      May 14, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      I have a huge issue that the commercial for this show describes what sex is. What if a small child was flipping though the channels and saw this? It should be up to the parents to explain sex!

      • Justin
        January 10, 2017 at 10:44 pm

        What if a small child was flipping through the channels and saw a lot of blood and gore or heard swear words?

    4. Spoofen
      April 24, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      These children-characters are complete **********, what the hell are the writers thinking?

    5. Simon Dorf
      April 22, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      This is interesting. Apparently the courts ruled that the FCC only has power over channels that are broadcast over the airwaves. They also said that “safe harbor” hours also only apply to channels broadcast over the airwaves. Even the laws that gives the FCC its powers say air waves only. So channels that are digital streams from a satellite, the FCC has no jurisdiction over according to the Courts. Apparently this ruling happened during the dawn of satellite, which explains why the FCC has been so useless, the courts took digital channels out of their jurisdiction. It was also ruled that the public does not own the digital streams. Since all channels are digital now, that means the FCC has no power over television once so ever. I tried to send a complaint and the FCC messaged me back saying, the show I was complaining about was out of their jurisdiction. If the FCC is forbidden by the courts to interfere with digital programming, what are parents like me supposed to do Christopher?

      • Justin
        April 26, 2016 at 7:22 am

        Wouldn’t digital channels beamed over satellite technically be signals sent “over the air” from the satellite, whether digital or analog?

      • Justin
        January 10, 2017 at 10:38 pm

        I am glad that the FCC isn’t all powerful.

      • July 6, 2019 at 1:53 pm

        IT is interesting. Once, I filed a complaint to the FCC about illegal content on an “Airwaves” channel: NYPD Blue, which aired on ABC, well within the FCC’s jurisdiction. I mailed 6 episodes on videotape and detailed information, including nudity including fully-exposed breasts and language the FCC clearly states violates community standards. Detailed information of the offenses were documented along with the videos I sent. I never heard from t he FCC. Nothing happened. It’s like they didn’t care.

    6. john conover
      April 16, 2016 at 10:54 am

      this is trash and should not be seen by any child.

    7. Julie
      April 13, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Wow – it’s just getting worse. Not all adults find this funny; in fact, probably a very small percentage do. And shame on the parents for allowing their children to be actors on this show with that kind of content. Unbelievable – everything just seems upside down these days.

      • Gary Johnson`
        December 26, 2016 at 5:46 pm

        Just watched the first two episodes. My question: Why isn’t the federal government “crimes against children” task force shutting this pornography down. Two adults who are clearly NOT these children’s parents are describing everything from how to insert an ‘erect penis’ into a vagina and the ‘salty’ taste of semen. If that weren’t enough, at the end of the show the children are seen glaring into a computer and describing how ‘semen’ on the back of a woman ‘on her tattoos’ is clearly not going to fertilize her eggs! Is this really what our country has come down to ? Using ‘CHILDREN” in SEX SHOWS! This is NOT FUNNY! IT IS SEXUAL ABUSE! The proprietors should become REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS ! if your neighbor were doing this to YOUR CHILDREN, under the guise of ‘getting a few laughs’ from some other adults in the room… IS THAT SOMEHOW OK ? How is This any different ? Please call your Senators !

        • Justin
          January 10, 2017 at 10:37 pm

          Gary that task force has ACTUAL sex offenders to tackle and take down.
          Just because this show offends your puritan sensibilities doesn’t mean that the creators should be falsely labelled as sex offenders. Look up how much damage that label does to somebody before you go around playing judge.

          • Tim
            February 6, 2018 at 1:05 pm

            You’re an idiot.

      • Shane
        February 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm

        Have you seen this show? I am 37 years old, have no children, and I’m not easily offended whatsoever. In fact I would be the prime demographic for this show, however when I ran across the show as it aired on TBS at 4:00 p.m. est on a Friday afternoon I was stunned. The 12 year old girl is depicted repeatedly masturbating on top of a parked snow mobile while the 12 year old boy is served pancakes in the shape of male genitalia with whipped cream spewing from the top. Another scene involved the father taking viagra that seemed to not be working. Just as the drug began to work(which was graphically depicted in his sweatpants) his preteen daughter came inside(just after spending time sitting on her snow mobile) to speak to her father about the sexual feelings that she had been experiencing on the snow mobile. The father hides his bulge with a piece of paper as his daughter places her hand on his shoulder and asks her father for a hug. This is being shown on tbs right around the time children arrive home from school. This is not ok and anyone who thinks that it is completely lacks any form of moral compass. The children who act in this show should not be subjected to this or exploited. I have always been the first guy in line at the theater when a South Park movie comes out and typically my “offended” alarm only goes off when I stumble upon snuff films or beastiality, so the fact that I’m taking the time to write this says a lot. The only way you could think that this is ok is if you’re making money from it, you’re a pedophile, or youre a child yourself.

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