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Press Release

May 1, 2008

PTC Condemns CBS for Broken Promise; Calls on CBS Affiliates to Preempt ‘Dexter’

Network to Air Serial Killer Show Earlier in the Evening


LOS ANGELES (May 1, 2008) - The Parents Television Council™ called on every CBS affiliate to preempt this Sunday’s broadcast of the serial killer show, “Dexter,” since CBS plans to air the show as early as 9:00 pm in the Eastern and Pacific time zones and at 8:00 pm in Central and Mountain time zones on May 4.


Towards the beginning of the season, CBS affiliates responded to PTC members’ concerns about the show by assuring them that “there will be ample buffer between its mature content and the traditional family hour” since Dexter was scheduled to air at 10:00 pm.  The Washington Times quoted a CBS statement as such, “The telecast of ‘Dexter’ will …[be] scheduled responsibly in the last hour of prime time.”


“If 10:00 pm means that a show is scheduled responsibly, then airing this serial killer show earlier than 10:00 pm can only mean that it’s scheduled irresponsibly.  By airing this show earlier, CBS is willfully and wantonly dangling this horrific material in front of children,” said PTC President Tim Winter. 


“Responsible CBS affiliates must preempt such an early airing of this show for the sake of their communities.  Affiliates are not required to schedule programs that violate their community decency standards; and if affiliates feel the content is questionable, then they are obligated to preempt it. We have heard from several affiliates that have communicated a desire not to air the show, but are convinced that the network will not let them.  If CBS affiliates choose not to preempt this show and our members feel that this show violates their community standards, they will challenge any CBS affiliate’s broadcast license that comes up for renewal.


“Last Sunday’s episode featured the main character Dexter fainting in a large pool of blood, which turned out to be blood drained from the bodies of five murder victims.  The scene was absolutely grotesque.  And the next few episodes should cause parents great concern, as the Showtime versions contained bloody scenes of graphic violence and foul language.  And ultimately, no amount of editing can wipe out the alarming content found on this show, nor the fact that the ‘hero’ is a serial killer.


“While parents continue to be the first and best line of defense against inappropriate or indecent programming, the industry must be forced to step up to the plate and accept responsibility for the products it delivers to every home in the nation,” Winter concluded.


TAKE ACTION! Please contact your local CBS affiliate and demand the preemption of this Sunday’s Dexter.


To see screen shot examples of some of the graphic scenes in last week's episode of Dexter and a list of the sponsors who made this episode possible, click here.


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, 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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