The Parents Television Council (PTV) gives The Family Guy, The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, and Gray's Anatomy their most serious rating of red, completely unsuitable for children. Modern Family is rated yellow, which may be inappropriate for children. These are just the current crop of popular TV shows; and likely not even the worst within the last 20 or so years. The profane words have become harsher in recent years, and the greatest increase in the use of them has been during the 8 p.m. Eastern “family hour” slot. PTV found that profanity on broadcast television increased 69 percent between 2005 and 2010.
Whether one has a problem with gay sexual orientation or not, why does sex and profanity need to be a theme in so many shows? TV shows with adult themes used to be accessible only on cable television or outside of primetime hours. Now, with the exception of sports shows, it is impossible to sit down with children and watch one of the top ten television shows on network TV without exposing them to sex and profanity. Many adults find the prevalence of sex and profanity offensive. Polls repeatedly show that more than half the population would like stricter controls over the profanity and sex in broadcast television. A significant segment of the population does not want to watch shows laden with gratuitous sex and profanity every evening. As a result, network viewership continues to drop every year. Last fall, ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC combined for a 9 percent drop in viewers in the coveted 18-to-49 age bracket.
The reason there is a disconnect between what people want to watch, and what gets shown, is because wealthy liberal Hollywood elites who produce the shows get to call the shots. The viewers never get an honest choice, because the money is all dumped into the elites' ideal shows, giving them a huge advantage through advertising, prime time slots, top actors and extra bells and whistles. Most television viewers have never heard of the relatively new show Flashpoint, for example, because it was only carried by limited stations in the late evening. Featuring the members of a highly skilled law enforcement team, it portrayed serious drama that touched upon politically incorrect subjects such as mothers kidnapping their children and Islamic terrorism.
There needs to be more shows during primetime like Flashpoint and V, the science fiction series, which was good, clean, scary alien fun. Or shows like Seinfeld, which poked fun at controversial or taboo subjects instead of taking a position on them. While the influx of musical talent competitions has brought with it some cleaner material, there is no trained acting, it is merely a step above cheaply produced reality shows. Viewers are finally tiring of American Idol.
Until network TV starts reflecting a broader diversity of content, people are going to continue migrating to Facebook and Netflix instead, where they can choose their content. Add in the constant commercials on network TV, and it's a no-brainer for viewers to make the move away from network TV. If wealthy TV producers want to remain wealthy, they had better start creating shows for those of us who don't enjoy gratuitous sex and profanity in our living rooms every evening.