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Hey, here's some great news: more sleaze is coming to network television!
At several speaking engagements and on the radio I have long-maintained that if one of the networks would take a huge risk, cancel their entire line-up of sitcoms and dramas, and replace them with TV Land programming like The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy, Mister Ed, the Cosby Show...that network would clean up in the ratings.
There is a market - a large market - for family friendly entertainment. But Hollywood and the entire entertainment industry are out of their league when it comes to coming up with appropriate programming. They've apparently become so seared by the fads of pop culture that they don't even know how to be funny or entertaining without crude or disgusting humor. It's sad, actually.
As further evidence, consider that NBC is looking to pick up a new show for the fall called, "The Playboy Club." And, for perhaps the first time in network history, NBC is having potential actors sign a nudity clause. Yes, nudity. Brent Bozell explains:
"Nudity" in this contract is defined as well, nudity. But that's not what grabs attention. This is: "Nudity as defined above and/or simulated sex acts may be required in connection with player's services in the pilot and/or series," the clause reads, according to Variety. Actors may now be required to be naked on NBC.
Despite this new low, Variety was told there was no nudity in the pilot, and producers didn't plan any such thing for NBC. But apparently, the broadcast version would provide temptation for the titillated to buy the DVD for the "extras." (And if there will be no nudity, why a nudity clause?)
Variety guessed that the "Playboy" show could travel in the opposite direction from edgy HBO fare like "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City." A "clean" version would air on NBC, and then a sleazier version might appear in pay cable - or perhaps on an edgy basic-cable channel like FX.
The Parents Television Council condemned NBC for its blatant attempt to obliterate broadcast decency standards with this show. When Comcast bought NBC Universal, the PTC asked the Federal Communications Commission to press Comcast to stipulate it would not use the public airwaves to "distribute pornographic material." As PTC president Tim Winter now states, "The ink isn't even dry yet on the company merger and we're already saying ?We told you so.'"
Classy stuff, NBC.
There's a reason that the highest grossing movies have consistently been family-friendly animated films like Toy Story. They're clever, they're cute, and most of all...they're clean. Sadly, that has yet to dawn on the entertainment folks.