Network shows that never aired or were dropped in some markets due to controversy
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Thread: Network shows that never aired or were dropped in some markets due to controversy

  1. #1
    mvcg66b3r's Avatar
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    Network shows that never aired or were dropped in some markets due to controversy

    I got the idea for this thread from a post I made on The View thread about advertisers pulling spots from the show over this #NursesUnite thing, and I was thinking some ABC affiliates might drop the show over it. I know in the 1960s some network shows never aired in some Southern markets because they had black characters, also in Utah Mormon-owned KSL refused to air some series on moral grounds. Do you know of any shows that were never aired or were dropped in your market over some controversial issue?

  2. #2
    Well. there was ABC's infamous Turn-On from 1969, which some stations cut away from halfway through the show, and others didn't air at all.
    We have to save the Earth! It's the only planet with football and beer.

  3. #3
    K.M. Richards
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithE4 View Post
    Well. there was ABC's infamous Turn-On from 1969, which some stations cut away from halfway through the show, and others didn't air at all.
    Turn-On didn't even air on the west coast, and since I grew up in the Los Angeles television market, I had O&Os for all network programming. Still do, actually.

    In 1977, Soap debuted amid a firestorm of controversy. Even before the premiere date, ABC had reportedly received about 32,000 letters about the show (all but a handful against it), affiliates had been picketed just for announcing it was on the fall schedule, sponsors were already being boycotted. There were some 20 ABC affiliates which refused to carry it, and some who did delayed it to after the 11:00 news. Much of the objection came from religious groups, including one Dr. Everett Parker, who just passed away and who was responsible for the 1964 legal action which led to the concept of challenging license renewals at the FCC on the basis of "serving the public interest". Dr. Parker called the show ""a low-life, salacious program" ... before even seeing a single episode. The controversy and protests had the exact opposite effect of what the objectors had intended ... the premiere took its time slot in the ratings with a 25.6 rating and a 39% share of the national viewing audience.

    Another series that I recall being cancelled by the network after a single airing was South Of Sunset (October 27, 1993) which starred the Eagles' Glenn Frey as a private detective in Los Angeles. It was hyped to death -- literally, it seems -- by CBS during MLB playoffs and the World Series before its premiere, then attracted a pitifully low number of viewers and disappeared until MTV aired the remaining episodes the following year when the Eagles reunited.

    You might also take a look at this list at Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...er_one_episode

    One on the list, You're In The Picture, references the apology host Jackie Gleason subsequently made on the air. A clip of the first nine minutes of that apology is archived at Dailymotion.

  4. #4

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    ...then there was Snip, the David Brenner sitcom of 1976, that NBC scrapped at the very last minute because Brenner's character's boss was to be an openly gay man. Producer James Komack had five episodes completed when the cancellation came down, so he shipped them off to an Australian network who screened them -- and it was a hit Down Under. Alas, Komack couldn't pull the cast and crew back together, so there were no more Snips to be had...
    King Daevid MacKenzie

  5. #5
    In early 1975, ABC premiered a sitcom, "Hot L Baltimore," which was deemed controversial because a couple of the characters at the hotel (hence the title--the "e" on the marquee was burned out) were a prostitute and a homosexual (Horrors!) Some affiliates, including the one in Cleveland (that I watched) either didn't show it or put it on after the late Sunday news. It was a Friday night show, which was a graveyard anyway for the network, and the show died a "natural" death. That entire night was bad enough that a contemporary joke was that then-fugitive Patty Hearst was the star of a Friday night ABC show--that's why the FBI couldn't find her.

  6. #6
    It used to happen quite often down South. Mississppi Public Broadcasting didn't carry Sesame Street for a few episodes due to the interacial cast. WAPT in Jackson didn't air NYPD Blue due to content and nudity. WAPT also banned an episode of Rosanne where Rosanne Barr kissed a girl and liked it. WLBT pulled a movie called Freedom Road that starred Mohammad Ali, even though it was filmed in nearby Natchez. My memory is fuzzy as to why, but WLBT was mostly black owned back then and I believe it had something to do with percieved historical accuracy. If I'm not mistaken there was a show called "God the Devil and Bob" that they also pulled. The show flopped after only 4 episodes anyway. WGBC in Meridian and WTVA in Tupelo yanked "Book of Daniel" in 2006. The show had some sort of hipster Jesus in it and was cancelled after only a few episodes. No big loss.
    Some of these shows did play in reruns at a later date though

  7. #7
    As I remember on the subject of NYPD Blue 25% of the affiliates preempted it including WFAA in Dallas (That made a bit of news) and they ran a John Wayne movie instead. Also American Bandstand, Jonny Quest and a few others of the Saturday morning fare was not shown.

  8. #8
    mvcg66b3r's Avatar
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    Sorry to bump this thread, but are any ABC affiliates planning to preempt Tuesday's premiere of Of Kings and Prophets? This series is mired in controversy with its all-white cast and graphic content.
    https://deadline.com/2016/01/of-king...ca-1201679264/
    https://variety.com/2016/tv/news/abc...on-1201675959/
    http://www.laughingplace.com/w/artic...ings-prophets/
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/filmcha...ers-speak.html
    http://christianmovieconnect.com/chr...-and-prophets/
    James Calvin Woods - Son of Verta Jane Holland

  9. #9
    K.M. Richards
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    If it pre-empts or bumps to a later time, it will be in the historically racist areas of the South. One of these days, people have to become more enlightened about these things.

    So I'm white and you're black, James. Who cares? I judge you by the only rational means possible, which is to deduce your intelligence and education from your posts. You certainly don't write like an ignorant "colored boy" (if you will forgive that use in order to make my point) therefore I don't see you as one.

    I find it sad that we would even need to speculate on the pre-emption of this series. From what I hear, it is a very well-written drama.

  10. #10
    Back in the mid-70's I stayed at the actual "Hot L Baltimore" a number of times while writing a computer application for the State of Maryland. In a bit over six months the three of us (all 20-something White kids) had not one whit of problems (except trying to buy gas for our rental car) even though the overwhelming population of downtown Baltimore was Black. The worst thing about Baltimore was their beer - Carling Black Label (or National Beau) but Baltimore had some really great restaurants and we were right across the street from the Farmers Market (my intro to the Raw Bar) and the hockey venue (with its phenomenal soft pretzels). I remember the night before we went live we arrived at the hotel and the streets were packed with people. All Black and wearing their finest church outfits. It was Easter Sunday. I had never seen anything like it. Don't know if it is done any longer. I never saw the show on TV and really doubt it could have held anything that we didn't experience first hand.

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