• “It Was Amazing What CBS Let Us Do”

    by  • May 4, 2016 • Misrated, Ratings Reform, Sex • 4 Comments

    One of the major problems with the TV Content Ratings System is the fact that the same networks that create graphic shows also pick which rating their own shows get.  An excerpt from a recent piece in The New York Times shows the kind of “oversight”  the networks use in rating their own programs. 

    During a New York Times interview with Robert King, creator/producer of CBS’ Sunday-night drama The Good Wife, King revealed the following:


    NYT: “What was it like having to hew to broadcast network Standards and Practices?”

    ROBERT KING: “There is a problem Standards and Practices has with thrusting…We would have to delicately go around problems of thrusting in pretend-sex that anybody would have. We’d even have to morph images because we wouldn’t get a take that was clean of thrusting. But it was kind of amazing how much CBS let us do. The first episode of the second season was about oral sex.


     The same broadcast network that properly shows restraint in depictions of intercourse – particularly on a a drama that airs at 9:00 p.m. ET (only 8:00 p.m. in the Central and Mountain time zones), and is consistently rated appropriate for teens – then considers an entire episode “about oral sex” acceptable.


    The PTC is calling for the TV Content Ratings to be accurate, transparent, publicly accountable, and consistent. As well as anything, King’s statement shows the utter lack of consistency among the network employees who assign content ratings – and demonstrates the need for Ratings Reform.




    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.

    4 Responses to “It Was Amazing What CBS Let Us Do”

    1. Patrick Richmond
      May 28, 2016 at 9:11 am

      I am very annoyed with CBS. They used to air good shows like The Waltons and Hee Haw. I have even complained about this to Congress and to the FCC. The FCC does forbid sex stuff from being aired during the time when children are awake. I can’t see why does Hollywood think that they have to put sex and violence into everything they produce. Hollywood even thinks that the FCC is violating their rights to do what ever they want. I think that the viewing public should cut down on their viewing of CBS until they straiten up. CBS might be good for airing football and the local news, but that is just about all.

      • moax429
        June 1, 2016 at 4:06 pm

        Other good shows CBS used to air that I liked were “Mary Tyler Moore” and “Carol Burnett.”

        But I *do* agree with the last two sentences of your comment.

    2. Melanie Reissfelder
      May 13, 2016 at 8:10 am

      Absolutely disgusting, I myself watch very few channels/shows. I DVR shows from HGTV and METV so I can watch the old shows- because the new ones do not interest me at all. It seems like it’s all about sex and crude humor, and I cannot stand that. Because I don’t watch the current shows, I’m always shocked when I read the descriptions of what is on TV today. I’d rather spend my time doing just about anything else than watching that garbage. And because of the content “allowed” by the networks, using my parental control options for my kids isn’t going to be effective. Thank God that they’re not interested in TV either!

    3. Debbie Uritson
      May 4, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      Disgusting! As if we need more crap about sex on television!

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