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Old 08-06-2008, 07:46 AM   #1
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PTC-Tv Is Actively Seeking To Undermine Marriage

Is it doing that or do they just figure that no one wants to watch standard portrayals of marriage and sex? Do people watch tv to escape or to see reflections of their reality (and of course standard isn't everyone's reality)? Is the effect on young viewers really dire?


Study: TV shows sex, but not in marriage
The effect on young viewers is dire, the Parents Television Council contends
The Associated Press
updated 8:29 p.m. ET, Tues., Aug. 5, 2008

LOS ANGELES - Marriage gets little respect on network TV shows that instead revel in the pleasures of extramarital and even kinky sex, according to a study released Tuesday.

The study by the Parents Television Council includes a strongly worded condemnation of prime-time TV, contending it “seems to be actively seeking to undermine marriage by consistently painting it in a negative light.”

Even more troubling, according to the watchdog group, is what it characterized as TV’s recent obsession with what it termed “outre” or bizarre behavior, including partner swapping and pedophilia.

As for references to pornography, sex toys and “kinky” behavior, those are now common on TV, the report said. Visual references to practices such as voyeurism and sadomasochistic sex outnumbered married-sex references by a ratio approaching 3 to 1.

The effect on young viewers is dire, the Parents Television Council contends.

Behavior that once was seen as “fringe, immoral or socially destructive have been given the imprimatur of acceptability by the television industry” and children are absorbing or even imitating it, the report contends.

Parents don’t necessarily have the tools to identify programs they may want to block via the V-chip, according to the study: It says designations such as “S,” signaling sexual content, were applied inconsistently and inaccurately.

ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC, the networks in the study, all declined comment.

James Steyer, CEO of nonprofit Common Sense Media, which helps parents sift through media offerings to decide what’s right for their children, said he couldn’t vouch for the Parents Television Council’s research but lauded the effort.

While the council takes a very traditional view of society and pop culture, “I respect it,” Steyer said Tuesday. “There are millions of Americans that feel this way,” he said.

It’s legitimate to scrutinize TV’s take on marriage and sexuality given its influence on children, Steyer said.

But TV Watch, a nonpartisan group that says individuals and not government should decide what’s seen, fired a volley at the council.

“The Parents Television Council won’t be satisfied with television content until they convince the government to enforce their personal, selective judgments,” Jim Dyke, executive director of TV Watch, said in a statement.

The study analyzed four weeks of scripted shows on the major networks at the start of the 2007-08 season, noting content including depictions of sex; implied sex; discussions on the subject, and visual references to strippers, pornography and other aspects of sexuality.

Among the networks overall, references to adultery outnumbered references to marital sex by 2 to 1. The “family hour” — the first hour of prime-time TV, which draws the most young viewers — contained the highest ratio of references to non-married vs. married sex, the study found.

Shows held up as containing bad examples of TV behavior included “Grey’s Anatomy,” with the report citing a scene with singles Meredith and Derek in bed, and “Boston Legal,” for an exchange about prostitution.

“Desperate Housewives” was singled out for a bedroom scene involving Gabrielle and Carlos, who divorced and then, while in other relationships, had sex.

Some shows have better attitudes toward marriage although they’re not necessarily appropriate for families with young children, said Tim Winter, council president.

The drama “Friday Night Lights” is “better than most in showing positive portrayals of marital relations and intimacy,” he said in a telephone conference, while the sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris” depicts a strong married relationship.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:03 AM   #2
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I thought it was just gays that destroy the sanctity of marriage.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post
I thought it was just gays that destroy the sanctity of marriage.


are you trying to tell me that you can't see the link here?

once you "normalize" sex between two beautiful, supple young men and present their attraction to the other's sculpted pectorals and bursting biceps and snugly fit jeans as if it were natural, then *everything* else becomes normalized.

if sex means more than once a week in the missionary position between two married and showered white people, then sex means EVERYTHING! and by that i mean that it means NOTHING!

see?
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:26 AM   #4
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I'm wondering where the pedophilia is happening, other than on To Catch A Predator. Are kids watching that show?
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:40 AM   #5
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Those crime dramas - CSI, Law & Order - have pedophilia as the crime of their show quite often. I watch those shows, and its getting quite nauseating for pedophilia being the crime from week to week. We all know it happens, but do we really have to reminded every show?
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:15 PM   #6
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Those crime dramas - CSI, Law & Order - have pedophilia as the crime of their show quite often. I watch those shows, and its getting quite nauseating for pedophilia being the crime from week to week. We all know it happens, but do we really have to reminded every show?
Do we all know it happens? We might, but i think the average person doesnt really realize just how much it actualy happens. I know what you're saying as far as it gets old wacthing the same premise to a show every week, but showing young people that peadophilia is common and should be outed is a good part of the trend the TV industry has set with it more liberal use of sex.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:47 PM   #7
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Those crime dramas - CSI, Law & Order - have pedophilia as the crime of their show quite often. I watch those shows, and its getting quite nauseating for pedophilia being the crime from week to week. We all know it happens, but do we really have to reminded every show?
Then stop watching. If everyone who didn't like that topic would stop watching, then maybe the topics would change.
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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Then stop watching. If everyone who didn't like that topic would stop watching, then maybe the topics would change.


'tis true. TV gives you what it thinks you want.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:08 PM   #9
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It's important to remember about these advocacy groups, across the political spectrum, that their survival partially depends on being pessimistic to rally members and get attention.

So the Parent's Television Council is never going to look at TV and say "gosh, everything's fine".
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:45 PM   #10
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'tis true. TV gives you what it thinks you want.
Hardly. If that were true, there would have been a whole bunch of "Raymond" clones, while "Arrested Development" would have been cancelled halfway through its first season, and "Gossip Girl" would hardly merit a mention.

Programming executives want to run the shows that they can brag about at parties.
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:49 PM   #11
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Tis also true though that there aren't that many depictions of hot and sexy and happy marriages. Surely those must exist, somewhere. I hope.

And if kids are watching tv to understand what marriage is all about, well that's just wrong on many levels.
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:08 PM   #12
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Hardly. If that were true, there would have been a whole bunch of "Raymond" clones, while "Arrested Development" would have been cancelled halfway through its first season, and "Gossip Girl" would hardly merit a mention.

Programming executives want to run the shows that they can brag about at parties.

They have to sell ads to pay for the shows. If people don't watch, they can't sell ads and they ditch the show. It's all about ratings. And people watching. Complaining because a halfway intelligent show doesn't make it on TV is like complaining about there being no decent music on the radio.
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:19 PM   #13
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Hardly. If that were true, there would have been a whole bunch of "Raymond" clones, while "Arrested Development" would have been cancelled halfway through its first season, and "Gossip Girl" would hardly merit a mention.

Programming executives want to run the shows that they can brag about at parties.


why were there only, what, 14 episodes of "my so-called life"? there was a a "raymond" spin-off.

occasionally, a show can develop a cult following that can translate into sales in other areas -- DVD sales -- and certain shows can do particularly well within specific advertising demos -- ie, "Dawson's Creek" wasn't a big hit overall, but a smash among impressionable teens who haven't yet committed to a brand of toothpaste -- but the bottom line is what speaks most loudly. there's also some desire for critical acclaim, but that shrink in comparison to the dollar.

programming executives want to brag about their ratings at cocktail parties.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:54 PM   #14
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programming executives want to brag about their ratings at cocktail parties.
I just snorted milk out my nose. You're hilarious. Not in this day and age.

Quote:

there was a a "raymond" spin-off.
No there wasn't.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:41 PM   #15
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I just snorted milk out my nose. You're hilarious. Not in this day and age.

And I almost had to roll my eyes (but I resisted)

You surely can't be serious though? Of course it's about the ratings and the money! Sounds like someone's spent too much time in the Heartland and has "lost touch" with what's going on in Hollywood!
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:17 PM   #16
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And I almost had to roll my eyes (but I resisted)

You surely can't be serious though? Of course it's about the ratings and the money!
I am being serious. I live here, and I know how it rolls.

There isn't a lot of money in TV these days. Ratings are in the toilet and ad revenues are contracting because of the proliferation of so many new media, cable, directTV outlets -- and TIVO is dramatically shrinking the ad revenue even further, which reflects back on the licensing fees networks are willing to pay production companies. Studios and television are driven increasingly by marketing heads as opposed to creatives, so the goal is delivering the minimum audience to justify overhead, and sex is the easiest method of selling.

Status is everything in Hollywood, and since most TV shows will fail anyway, if given the choice between being the guy who greenlit "Raymond" and being the guy who greenlit "Gossip Girl," most people will choose the latter. Guaranteed.

Edited to add -- in Hollywood, it's about perception, not about reality. As long as "Gossip Girl" is perceived as a hit, it doesn't matter if it actually delivers the numbers or not. (And it didn't -- "Dawson's Creek"'s numbers were far higher than "Gossip"'s.) The whole point is to try to brand or re-brand a network in an increasingly competitive market. The best way to be perceived as a hit is to get people talking, and what's the best way to get people talking? Push the boundaries. What are the easiest boundaries to push these days? Sex. So you have a teenager sleeping with his teacher ("Dawson's Creek", on the then-fledgling WB), or under-age teenagers engaged in sexual behavior on "Gossip Girl" (for the still-fledgling UPN).

To bring this back on topic. I don't think network heads care about marriage. I don't think network heads care about what's programmed outside of audience perception. I don't think network presidents or programming chiefs care about anything except dollars and cents. And that, to me, is the real problem.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:09 PM   #17
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I'm so glad I don't watch TV.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:14 PM   #18
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I'm so glad I don't watch TV.
Same here.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:55 PM   #19
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Hardly. If that were true, there would have been a whole bunch of "Raymond" clones
I think you're referring to every sitcom that CBS has made over the last 10 years. You know, like "King of Queens," "Yes, Dear," "Rules of Engagement," and "Two and a Half Men." Or we could talk about other sitcoms on other networks like "According to Jim" and "8 Simple Rules." I could try and research more, but I really don't like this genre of television personally.

The "stupid white husband," "bitchy wife," "smart ass kids," and "annoying in-laws" genre has been beaten to death, so I have no idea why you think there hasn't been "Raymond clones."


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while "Arrested Development" would have been cancelled halfway through its first season, and "Gossip Girl" would hardly merit a mention.
"Arrested Development" is a known exception, because it was a critically acclaimed show that the network executive in charge happened to like, not to mention that it had a highly devoted audience and good DVD sales. What was FOX supposed to put in its place? Another sitcom about a stupid white husband, bitchy wife, smart ass kids, and annoying in-laws? They already had "Malcolm in the Middle," after all, but FOX has a mixed record when it comes to those shows, admittedly, so I think FOX was happy to have a modest hit for the time that it did.

"Gossip Girl" doesn't even merit inclusion here, mainly because it is on The CW, which has abysmal ratings, in general. I think they're happy to have a show that actually gets press. I'm guessing that a show about a stupid white husband, bitchy wife, smart ass kids, and annoying in-laws on The CW wouldn't get any attention and equally low ratings. Additionally, though, it has been noted that the show gets strong sales on iTunes, which isn't all that outlandish; since we're talking about a teen demographic, it has been quite noted that they do not follow traditional broadcast viewing patterns.

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Programming executives want to run the shows that they can brag about at parties.
With all due respect, this is where you show that you have no understanding of how this industry works. Working in television, I can tell you that ratings are a non-stop obsession, with advertisers looking for any excuse to pay less or bail on a weak performing show and sales executives, who are under a lot of pressure, trying to meet their quotas.

It does not serve the network's interest to quickly bail on a show, necessarily, because there's no guarantee that its replacement will be any more successful, and there are several examples ("Cheers" and "Seinfeld," most notably) of shows with poor ratings in their first couple of seasons getting phenomenal ratings with time. And it's interesting that you chose "Arrested Development," as an example. They wanted to give it time, but, after a while, they recognized that its ratings were never going to improve and they finally canceled it. The bottom line is all that networks care about.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:22 PM   #20
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I thought it was just gays that destroy the sanctity of marriage.
Nope, we straight people do that!
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