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Press Release

May 31, 2007

PTC: CBS Assaults Families With Grotesque Violence on NCIS

Horrific Drug Scene Aired During 8pm “Family Hour” and Without Appropriate Content Ratings


LOS ANGELES (May 31, 2007) – A recent episode of CBS’ NCIS reviewed by the Parents Television Council™ showed a horrifically violent drug scene during an early evening hour when children are most often found in the viewing audience.  Not only did this air at the earliest hour of primetime, but the episode did not carry the proper television rating descriptors to warn parents about the gruesome material or to allow them to block the program using V-chip technology. 


On the 5/22/07 episode of NCIS that aired during the so-called “family hour” of 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT/MT), a drug smuggler dies when packets containing heroin rupture inside his stomach.  The drug dealer, who was waiting for the delivery, and the smuggler’s sister, a desperate junkie, go to the hospital and attempt to retrieve the drugs from the smuggler’s body. The scene shows the dead smuggler having his midsection sliced open and his blood-soaked organs pulled out of his body. The man’s digestive tract is sliced open and heroin powder spills over his bloodied torso. When a fight ensues, one character stabs the drug dealer with a scalpel and another character shoots the drug dealer. Then the junkie-sister is seen burying her face in her brother’s bloody entrails as she snorts the heroin off his dead body. This episode was rated TV-14, with no content descriptors.  Based on the graphic violence, the “V” descriptor should have been used, and due to the foul language, the “L” descriptor should have been employed as well.


“This episode, this scene, is one of the most grotesquely violent programs we have ever seen on primetime broadcast television. At a time when the nation holds a heightened sensitivity to the volume and degree of violence on television, CBS seems intent on baiting the Congress to act on the recent recommendations of the FCC and expand indecency standards to include graphic violence when children are in the viewing audience. And not only did CBS choose to air this episode during the 8 p.m. ‘family hour’ when they knew millions of children and families were in the viewing audience, but they ignored the industry’s own ‘solution’ of attaching a proper content rating,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“The PTC is calling on the viewing public to contact every corporate sponsor of this program to ask if this type of material reflects the advertiser’s hard-earned brand image. If the sponsors knew about the content of this episode, they must be called to account; and if they did not know about the content, then they should demand – and receive – a complete refund from CBS. Furthermore, we are calling on the viewing public to communicate with their local CBS affiliate to ask how their actions serve the public interest, as required by each affiliate’s broadcast license. It is outrageous that CBS – which uses the public airwaves for free – would have the nerve to air something so graphically perverse and violent when they know millions of children and families comprise the viewing audience.


“The television industry consistently and hypocritically points parents to the ratings system to ‘protect’ their children from the growing tide of inappropriate content; and yet they have the audacity to inaccurately rate their own programs, rendering the ratings system utterly useless.  This event should serve as further conclusive evidence to the Federal Courts reviewing the pending indecency cases that the industry’s so-called technology solution is a fraud,” Winter concluded.


For details about the PTC’s latest research on the TV ratings system, Click Here.

For the PTC’s latest research on violence during primetime broadcast television, Click Here.

Click here to send your warning to the sponsors of NCIS.


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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