FCC Blue


Television producer Steven Bochco is fed up with fallout from Tittygate, says the Hollywood Reporter:

[A]s "NYPD Blue" rolls to the end of its 11th and possibly final season, the gritty cop drama has found a foe that it can't compete with in the federal government.

The so-called indecency crackdown has hit "NYPD" hard, Bochco explains. At ABC's insistence, the show has been forced over the past two months to alter or eliminate visuals in four sex scenes. "We've also had to dial back some of our language issues," he says. [?]

"Every election cycle, this issue rears its head," he says. "But right now, it's as scary as it's ever been. If it doesn't dissolve, this will be 'NYPD Blue's' last year. If we have to keep reining ourselves in like this, it just wouldn't be worth continuing to do the show."

Link via I Want Media.

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  1. What!?!? No more gratuitous shots of Dennis Franz’s ass? Oh darn. That offends my sensibilities more than Janet’s teet (The tit that canceled a thousand shows).

  2. I think Bochco makes an excellent point, though he pours on the whine pretty heavily:

    “I’d bet my house that the overwhelming majority of politicians banging this drum haven’t watched us or anyone else who’s being scaled back,” he believes. “In typical lemming fashion, it’s just, ‘Oh boy, here’s an opportunity to get some ink, to get my face out there in an election year.’ They get to take easy shots at a slow-moving target.”

  3. I’ve watched that show from the beginning, with david caruso, then jimmy smitts, then ricky shroeder, and that kid from saved by the bell. It’s a great show.

    In the beginning, the sex scenes were fun because bocco was pushing the envelope. But once that wore off it was like, sigh, here we go again. I can get better porn on MTV thank you very much.


  4. FCC Blue.

    They needed the money.

  5. If Bochco’s creativity hinges on flashes of skin, and foul language, what does that say about his creativity?

  6. Mr. Wilson,

    …but maybe Bochco’s show should die if the writers can’t come up with something a bit more creative.

    The issue is not whether Bochco can come up with something you or anybody else would consider “more creative.” The issue is that what he considers creative is now being art-directed by the FCC.

    Scott Harris,

    …what does that say about his creativity?

    What that says about his creativity is irrelevant. Perhaps the better question is, “Why does the FCC have the police power to force its egregious agenda on Bochco’s creativity?”

  7. that show sucks anyway.

  8. Totally jumped the shark. Used to be a good show.

  9. “If we have to keep reining ourselves in like this, it just wouldn’t be worth continuing to do the show.”

    What, they can’t come up with a plot line that doesn’t revolve around some guy’s hairy ass? They can’t come up with dialogue that cannot stand up unless the character says “bitch” or “goddamn?”

    What does it say about your show that the only thing holding it up is the occasional utterence of a “soft” swear word? Why does edginess require cursing or showing 3/4 of a tit?

    I’m no FCC defender, but maybe Bochco’s show should die if the writers can’t come up with something a bit more creative. Or he could just piss on the FCC. That would make great television.

  10. Jennifer:
    Thanks for the inside info. Concerning NYPD Blue: I haven’t seen an episode where the nudity was necessary. It was always gratuitous. I’m no prude–not even close–but I have found that the nudity in the show distracts (me) from the plot. The music with the nude scenes is so freaking lame!

  11. Here’s the deal: Broadcast TV and radio are different from cable and satellite radio. They are basically pseudo-governmental organs–a little bit like the USPS or The Fed. I don’t much like the FCC, but until the airways are bought and sold in the open market, this government “of the people” will have the right to infringe upon their free speech. If ABC, NBC, Clear Channel, etc. want the right to free speech, they can damn well give up their sweet “public airwaves” deals with the US govt.

  12. Bill-
    As the laws are written now, broadcasters have to either accept the government’s “sweet deal” or not be on the air at all. My boyfriend works in broadcast TV, and from what he’s said I think many broadcasters would gladly give up their “sweet deals” and pay full market value in exchange for freedom from the FCC, not having to pay to fly FCC inspectors out to their stations on a regular basis, not having to wine and dine said inspectors when they arrive, et cetera.

    I’ve never seen NYPD Blue but it sounds like some offensive language and nudity is necessary for the story. Imagine what would happen to the popularity of a cable show like “The Sopranos” if the violent Mafia dudes had to conform to FCC rules and never use any swear words harsher than “Oh, fudge! Poopykins!” That alone would make the show less believable and therefore less good.

  13. I think if you don’t want to watch the show turn it off. I like the show and I have seen worse on MTV but,I guess that’s all right different rules for different folks I guess. As for the scenes in NYPD I don’t know what the problem is I have certainly heard worse in some of the music they play now. So I say if you don’t like the show don’t turn it on. I hope the show continues.

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