• TBS Detours Into Adult Content — With Children

    by  • April 13, 2016 • Cable Choice, Profanity, Sex, Worst Cable Show of the Week • 16 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.

    16 Responses to TBS Detours Into Adult Content — With Children

    1. 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.

      • Jonathan
        April 14, 2016 at 9:38 am

        Yeah, shame on the parents for letting their kids live their dream of beimg actors (sarcasm). Guess what? Kids have been in adult shows long before this show. Another pointless article by a group who thinks Hollywood cares about what they think is or isn’t appropriate for television. Just stick to shows on the Hallmark channel and let people enjoy the shows they like.

      • 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.

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

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

      • Justin
        January 10, 2017 at 10:30 pm

        Which is why it is rated MATURE! *face palms*

    3. 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.

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

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

    5. 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?

    6. 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.

    7. 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”.

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