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Law and Order on NBC

Rating: TV-14

By Caroline Schulenburg


In recent years, the Law and Order franchise has ratcheted up its depictions of sex and violence in order to attract new viewers and compete with more “edgy” crime dramas. As the episodes become more and more violent and sexualized, the remaining constant has been NBC’s inability to rate appropriately. The episode titled “Executioner,” airing February 20th, 2008, was rated TV-14 with no “S” or “D” descriptors despite containing a sex scene and references to extramarital affairs.


In the episode, a man and woman are part of a scam operation in which the woman replies to men looking for adulterous sex partners on Craigslist. She then meets them in hotels, only to rob them. When the man and woman become suspects, the detectives try to understand their operation and whether or not they can prove their whereabouts the night a murder took place. To establish their alibi, the criminals provide the detectives with a video they made the night of the murder. In the video, the woman kneels before a man she has lured to a hotel. As they start to undress she tells him “I hope you’re as horny as I am!” “Oh I am!” replies the man. A few minutes later, the man changes his mind about the affair. After trying to get him to reconsider, the woman walks away from him and towards the hidden camera where a close-up of her cleavage in a corset is shown.


This episode featured a scantily-clad woman, who makes a living pretending to be a housewife in search of affairs, trying to seduce a man in a hotel room.  To give a television program with such a scene a mere TV-14 with no “S” or “D” descriptors that would allow a parent to block it is nothing short of irresponsible.


If you agree that this program was inadequately rated, please write to the TV ratings advisory board at tvomb@usa.net and let them know that the TV ratings once again failed to adequately warn parents about inappropriate content.


For more information about the TV ratings, please visit http://www.tvguidelines.org/contact.asp.

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