The Parents Television Council is reminding NBC to be mindful of the children likely to be watching its upcoming live broadcasts of Saturday Night Live in the nation’s earlier time zones, as the show will air as early as 8:30 pm Pacific.
“From the ‘Not Ready for Prime-Time Players’ 40 years ago, to clever parodies of the 2016 Clinton-Trump debates, millions of Americans have enjoyed watching Saturday Night Live — and in half the country, it truly is live. But with NBC’s announcement that the entire nation will be watching the same live performance over its final four weeks, we are calling on NBC to be mindful that its one broadcast feed will air outside the ‘Safe Harbor’ for FCC broadcast indecency oversight in the Mountain and Pacific time zones,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“Just as NBC anticipates reaching a much bigger and broader viewing audience for SNL with this programming decision, that audience is likely to include children who would not otherwise be watching at 11:30 pm. Over the years, there has been the occasional instance of a performer going rogue, with an ‘f-bomb’ or something off-script. NBC’s broadcast standards team must be particularly on guard given that SNL will air live during multiple time zones.
“We also urge NBC to rate SNL appropriately, which means that the show may warrant a TV-MA (mature audiences) if the network cannot assure families that the show’s normal TV-14 rating will be accurate. While NBC is clearly making SNL live for publicity and profit, the network still has a responsibility to ensure that children and families – many more of whom will be in the viewing audience given its earlier air time – are protected from explicit or indecent content.”