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Press Release

June 9, 2008

PTC Urges CBS Affiliates to Pre-empt “Swingtown”


LOS ANGELES (June 9, 2008) - The PTC is urging all CBS affiliates to preempt the raunchy new show, Swingtown, which debuted last week and introduces viewers to a world of drugs and sexual experimentation with the premise of open marriage at its core.  


In a statement, PTC President Tim Winter said, “The CBS Television Network appears determined to reinvent itself as a cable network.  In so doing they also appear determined to ignore common sense broadcast decency standards.  We are asking all CBS affiliates to consider pre-empting this show or to air it later in the evening if they believe the show’s content is not compatible with their community standards of decency.  CBS began this year by airing Dexter, a premium cable network show featuring a serial killer ‘hero,’ and it recently began airing extremely violent and bloody cage fighting matches on a program titled, EliteXC Saturday Night Fights, known as mixed martial arts.  It’s no coincidence that Dexter and EliteXC Saturday Night Fights originally aired on premium cable networks, or that Swingtown creators intended the program to air on cable.”


Swingtown undermines the institutions of marriage and family. This show is not suitable for children. Swingtown is one of the most sexually indulgent programs we’ve seen on broadcast television in a long time, but is par for the course in CBS’ race to the bottom of vile and violent television programming.  This show should not be on broadcast television – period.


Before the debut, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler said, “I hope there are concerns about it, I really do.  We’re going to push the envelope with that show.”  Indeed they did.  The first episode, which aired as early as 9:00 p.m. in the Central/Mountain time zones, featured:

  • The episode opens with a visual gag suggestive of a flight attendant performing oral sex on a pilot

  • A man shown in bed with his wife and another woman

  • An orgy involving multiple couples

  • A teenaged girl removing her top and pants and diving into the ocean wearing only her panties

  • Two teens smoking a marijuana joint

  • A woman cutting cocaine on a table top and rubbing the drug into her gums

  • A woman offering another woman a Quaalude at a party

In addition, the “swinging” lifestyle is not only presented as normative, it is endorsed in the episode as building intimacy in the marriage.


Because Swingtown airs as early as 9:00 pm, CBS has ensured that more children will have access to this content.  CBS affiliates must act to protect the community standards of decency throughout this country and pre-empt or reject airing this show.  We will hold them accountable for obeying community standards of decency.  Please write to your CBS affiliate today.


TAKE ACTION NOW! Contact your local CBS station and ask them to preempt Swingtown.


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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