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1.   C.S.I. (Crime Scene Investigation)

CBS/ 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT) Tuesday -- ranked #7 last season

A series about crime scene investigators is bound to deal with some distasteful subjects.  But C.S.I. takes it a step further by providing graphic depictions of decaying bodies, grisly crime scenes, brutal murders, and themes of incest and sado-masochism. Such content would be bad enough at 10:00 at night, but this series airs at 9:00 (remember, that's 8:00 in the Central and Mountain time zones), with reruns often airing during the Family Hour. 

This season, episodes of C.S.I. have included story lines about cannibalism, S&M sex clubs, and pornographic snuff films.  Episodes this season have also contained scenes depicting a man receiving oral sex in an alley, the mutilated victims of a deranged killer, and a man in bed with two women. 

2.      Kingpin

NBC/ 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) Sunday -- first season

This season NBC tried to cash-in on the success of HBO's The Sopranos by copying all of the worst aspects.  Stomach-turning brutality, explicit sex, and drug abuse were all front-and-center on Kingpin.  

Kingpin is centered on the criminal protagonist Miguel Cadena, a Mexican drug lord and troubled family man. 

In the six episodes that aired this February, the PTC counted 16 raunchy depictions of sex, 23 murders, eight depictions of torture, and 16 instances of drug use.  In one particularly gruesome episode, a man is shown tossing a human leg to his pet tiger. 

In another episode, Miguel and General Valdez talk about their experiences with prostitutes.   Valdez tells Miguel, "Me and Jorge, we screwed a lot of whores.  Your uncle, he liked them to be young.  Fifteen, sixteen years old."  A few moments later, Valdez pulls down his pants so he and Miguel can compare genital size.  His groin area is barely obscured by a strategically placed statue.  In yet another episode, a man is brutally beaten and then sodomized by a police officer. 

3.   Fastlane

Fox/ 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) Friday -- first season

Van Ray is recruited by Police Lieutenant Billie Chambers to work with his former partner's brother, Deaqon Hayes. Van and Deaqon move freely and inconspicuously through the seedy underworld of gangsters and criminals by taking advantage of Billie's "Candy Store," a warehouse full of seized cars and high-good ends.

Fastlane is a fast-paced series that employs the quick-cut techniques used in music videos and is intended to appeal to young male demographic.  This strategy was apparent in the suggestively-titled episode, "Strap On," which advertised a lesbian kiss. 

Episodes regularly contain high volumes of explicit sex.  The season premier features a long video montage of Van having sex with a female suspect on top of a pile of money. In another, Van is shown having sex with a female assassin.  Scenes of Van running his hands all over the woman's nearly naked body are interspersed with scenes of the woman shooting at people.  At one point, the woman's breasts are mostly exposed, covered only by Van's hands. Episodes also frequently feature graphic depictions of violence, including several scenes where blood can be seen flying from the victim's body as the bullets hit.

4.  NYPD Blue

ABC/ 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) Tuesday -- not ranked last season

NYPD has never been appropriate for children and remains steadfastly mature in its content.  But because the series has generally aired during the last hour of prime time and is not pitched to children, it has managed to avoid ranking on this list for much of its run.

This year, however, the series took a decided turn for the worse.  NYPD Blue has always used some of the most explicit language to be heard on broadcast television, including "prick," "dick," "bitch," "asshole," and the like.  This year, new words were added to the series' obscene lexicon including "bullshit."

NYPD Blue has also never been shy about featuring steamy sex scenes that include shots of the actors' naked buttocks, but the series' producers have become bolder this season by making the sex scenes more explicit.  In one episode from this season, Connie, a recurring character, is shown completely naked for an extended period of time.  The camera grabs a close up of her exposed buttocks and her exposed breasts in profile.  When Detective Sipowicz's young son Theo walks in on her as she's about to take a shower, she turns around and is shown at full-length, barely covering her breasts with one arm and her pubic area with her hand. 

5.      Fear Factor

NBC/ 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) Monday -- not ranked last season

For sheer gross-out stupidity, it's hard to outdo Fear Factor -- a game show in which contestants vie for a $50,000 prize by performing strenuous or disgusting stunts. 

It's a sad reflection on the viewing tastes of the American public that this series has survived as long as it has.  Stunts this season have included contestants lying down in a vat filled with snakes, cockroaches, scorpions, or rats; eating the penises and testicles of various animals; eating the rectum of a horse, the sperm-filled reproductive glands of a cod fish, slugs washed down with cow bile, partially developed duck eggs, and liquefied pig livers; milking a goat using one's mouth; and bobbing for rings in fifty gallons of cow's blood.

6. Angel

WB/ 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT) Sunday -- not ranked last season

This Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off stars David Boreanaz as a centuries-old vampire searching for redemption while fighting evil in Los Angeles. 

Despite its young target audience, Angel routinely features gory violence and graphic sexual encounters.  Scenes frequently involve intense fighting, blood, decapitations, and more. The series also sends a dangerous and irresponsible message to teenage fans by equating violence with sexual excitement.  In many scenes, characters become aroused by fighting.  For example, in one episode, Lilah bites Wesley's ear and shoves him to the floor.  After a bit of rough foreplay, she and Wesley are lying on the floor together.  Wesley's head moves out of the frame toward her legs.  She smiles with pleasure and breathes heavily, suggesting that he is performing oral sex on her. 

7. Girlfriends

UPN/ 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT) Monday -- not ranked last season

Girlfriends has earned comparisons to HBO's Sex in the City for its frank treatment of the sex lives of four friends living in Los Angeles.

No subject seems to be off limits for Girlfriends.  Script writers will mine any topic for a cheap laugh, including adultery, pornography, and kinky sex practices.  Sometimes the script writers try to pass off sleaze as social conscientiousness.  In one episode, for example, Joan and Maya are watching footage Lynn has taped for a documentary on HIV prevention which demonstrates the correct way to put on a condom.  Joan and Maya make crude comments about the size of the male model's penis. Maya gasps, "Oh my god, is that a penis?"  Lynn answers, "Of course it's a penis.  That's where the condom goes."  Maya responds, "Shoot, condom.  Hell, that thing needs a two-ply garbage bag."   

8. Will & Grace

NBC/ 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT) Thursday -- ranked #3 last season

This NBC comedy is built on the friendship between Will Truman and Grace Adler a gay man and a straight woman.

Given the series' basic premise, sexual content, both homo- and hetero-, is common.  This season, Will & Grace continued its track record of pushing the envelope for sexual content on broadcast TV to the limits -- even though the bed-hopping Grace has finally gotten married.  Content this season included vulgar anatomical references, jokes about alcoholism and drug addiction, references to oral sex, masturbation, kinky practices, and infidelity. In one particularly offensive episode, Grace wants to make a sex tape for her husband but doesn't know how to go about it.  Jack helps her by videotaping her in the shower, where, viewers are to assume, he catches her masturbating.

9. Friends

NBC/ 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) Thursday -- ranked #4 last season

With one season left to go, Friends continues to be one of the raciest sitcoms in prime time, and its early-evening time slot makes it that much more objectionable. All six regulars have been sexually promiscuous, and dialogue has contained vulgar language and explicitly sexual content.  In past episodes, sexual promiscuity, masturbation, Monica's endorsement of Chandler's fondness for porn, and Joey's many sexual partners have served as fodder for jokes.  Last season Rachel gave birth to Ross's child, the result of a one-night stand. 

In one particularly appalling episode from this season, Monica tries to surprise her husband, Chandler (who is out of town for business) by showing up at his hotel room.  She walks in on him as he is masturbating while watching pornography.  Chandler tries to quickly change the channel so she won't know what he was doing, and switches it to a shark-attack program, leaving Monica to conclude that he gets aroused by "shark porn."  Far from being disgusted by the idea, Monica later tries to get him in the mood by popping in a tape of "shark porn."

10. Big Brother 3

CBS/  8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) Thursday and Saturday; 9:00 (ET/PT) Wednesday -- ranked #6 last season

CBS's voyeuristic reality show, Big Brother always ups the ante for sex and foul language on prime time TV.  Any one episode of Big Brother can contain upward of twenty bleeped and un-bleeped curse words. It's also not unusual for harsher obscenities like "shit" and "fuck" to slip past the network censors.  Sexual activity tends to be commonplace in the house, too. 

Sexual content this season has included everything from graphic sexual encounters, to scenes of women showering together while the men watch, to frank discussions of sexual practices.  In one episode, housemate Chiara suggests playing "porno password" with Roddy then later pretends to have an orgasm while a female housemate applies sunscreen to her back.  In another episode, housemates Lisa and Eric are shown in bed together with his hands up her shirt.  In another, the houseguests are asked to undress and exchange clothing while standing in a vat of slime.  For this exercise, the women are wearing only bikinis, the men only t-shirts and shorts.




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