• Keeping Scandals from Becoming Notorious

    by  • September 12, 2016 • ABC, Broadcast Decency, Paleyfest 2016, Profanity, Sex, Violence • 3 Comments


    Media, celebrity, and law intersect in this fast-moving drama.

    Julia George is producer of Louise Herrick Live, the hottest news/talk program on TV. Jake Gregorian is a top defense attorney and “fixer” who specializes in getting celebrities and politicians out of trouble. Though not lovers, Julia and Jake share a pact to help each other with their careers: Jake funnels scoops and inside information to Julia’s show, which gives Jake the opportunity to spin the media narrative to his clients’ advantage – with both trying to stay on top of breaking news and keep control of ever-changing events.

    Notorious contains language and situations typical of modern adult dramas. The first episode opens with Julia having sex with her boyfriend in her work office, minutes before airtime. She then goes to retrive star Louise, who is doing the same thing. Ordered to deliver “condoms and Bailly’s” to a hotel room, a young male intern is invited by Louise to join her and her lover in a threesome. Later, Jake sleeps with his client’s wife; and similar sexual situations occur throughout the show. Little violence occurs, but when it does it is graphic; the client’s wife is murdered, and her corpse is shown covered in blood with a huge puddle of blood beneath it. Language like “you’re a tough-ass bitch” is typical.

    Based on the real-life careers of celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos and Larry King Live producer Wendy Walker, Notorious dramatizes how incestuous and manipulative news, television, celebrity gossip, and the legal establishment are. (At a Paley Center panel, both Geragos and Walker repeatedly asserted that Notorious is actually toned down from reality, as most viewers would find real life events too unbelievable.)  Though not for children, Notorious is a fast-moving drama with appealing leads, and is a good choice for adults who enjoy programs like Scandal.

    Notorious premieres Thursday, September 22 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.



    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.

    3 Responses to Keeping Scandals from Becoming Notorious

    1. sara
      October 1, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      This is why I prefer to continue watching the shows I watched as a kid!

      I tried watching this show but I didn’t really like it!

    2. Juie
      September 17, 2016 at 11:55 am

      After reading the description, I’m surprised PTC is recommending this show to anyone. I always thought PTC cared about the harm of negative content for everyone, not just kids.

    3. John Boulton
      September 17, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Even starts on a bad insenuation we don’t need more of.

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