TV Networks Miss Message about Sex and Violence

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Thursday, May 3, 2001

TV Networks Miss Message about Sex and Violence

Silly old me. Here I thought the reason TV ratings are declining is because of too much sex and violence. That's what the surveys have said. Now, NBC President Robert Wright has sent a letter to other NBC and studio executives asking for their reaction to the HBO series "The Sopranos." The show features foul language, violence and sexual situations.

Wright specifically asked the executives how "'The Sopranos' impacts mainstream entertainment and NBC in particular." Wright wonders whether there is a lesson for NBC to follow without expressly imitating the show's sex and violence.

But, of course, that's the draw for people who watch it. Without the sex and violence, it would be like the old series "The Untouchables."

Network broadcasters have expressed concern that they are at a disadvantage in competition with cable channels because of tighter limits on sex and violence. That doesn't stop them from featuring homosexuals kissing each other, nor does it stop the promotion of all sorts of sex outside of marriage. And it doesn't stop them from using words that 20 years ago would have gotten the station's license canceled. One more reason not to have TV in your home, especially with young children.