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Press Release

February 14, 2007

PTC Calls for More Network Responsibility Over Violent Content

PTC Reveals New Research on Torture Scenes


LOS ANGELES (February 14, 2007) – The Parents Television Council™ called on the Fox Broadcasting Network to show increased responsibility over the time of day it airs programs like "24," which new PTC research revealed has a frighteningly high number of torture scenes.  Monday's special two-hour episode of "24" began at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT, covering the prime time hours when more children were likely to be in the viewing audience.  "24" normally broadcasts at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT for one hour.  The PTC is calling on all networks either to curtail such extremely graphic violence or, in the alternative, to air such material after 10 pm in all local markets.


The PTC review found that Fox's "24" showed 67 scenes of torture in the first five seasons.  Upon review of prime time broadcast programming from 1995 to 2001, there were 110 scenes of torture.  From 2002 to 2005, the number increased to 624 scenes of torture.


"Fox and other broadcast networks need to show increased responsibility when it comes to airing extremely graphic and disturbing scenes of torture and other violence during early hours of prime time.  This new season of ‘24' has already been problematic in the frequency and types of torture scenes that have been shown.  Medical and social science have proven conclusively that children are adversely affected by exposure to violent content, yet the networks show no restraint about when they air this content," said Tim Winter, president of the PTC™.


"If you have a child that is enveloped in a violent media environment - as a parent, psychological science demonstrates that your child may become more aggressive and learn violence as a manner by which they solve conflict.  They may become de-sensitized to acts of violence - meaning they will become less sympathetic to victims of violent acts or they may develop unrealistic increases in fears of becoming a victim of violence, which can also result in other negative characteristics, such as mistrust of others," said Jeff McIntyre, senior legislative and federal affairs officer of the American Psychological Association.


"We need a solution to the pervasive and graphic violence that continues to be shown during prime time hours when children are in the viewing audience.  PTC research has proven the V-chip to be ineffective at protecting children from graphic television violence.  In addition to more active involvement from parents, a real solution requires heightened network responsibility as well.  For instance, ABC wisely moved ‘Lost' to its 10 pm ET hour this season.  Fox should follow suit and move ‘24' to its 10 pm hour," Winter concluded.


To schedule an interview with a PTC representative, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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