The Wire gives the Parents Television
Council props for coming up with a catchy title for its
latest broadside at TV content, a comparison of broadcast-
network primetime profanity in early 2010 versus
five years ago.
“Habitat for Profanity: Broadcast TV’s Sharp Increase
in Foul Language” came out last week, with a focus on
naughty bits and phrases that was unavoidable given the
topic, but made for titillating reading nonetheless.
The PTC pegged the overall percentage increase in
naughty nattering the first two weeks of 2010 at 69 (snicker,
snicker), compared with the same time span in 2005.
In addition to the seven words the Federal Communications
Commission considers profanity, PTC also tracks
words including “damn,” “hell,” “crap” and “bastard,”
ones that do not raise red flags with regulators.
The group didn’t exactly refrain from some colorful
phraseology itself, referring to the 2nd U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals’ “castration of the FCC’s powers of enforcement.”
That, in a report with the temerity to note “across all
networks and all hours of primetime, use of the word
‘balls’ to refer to male genitalia increased 200%.”
In the breast-augmentation department — hardly a
surprise in Hollywood —
use of “boobs” in reference
to breasts, rather than to
idiots, increased 90%.
Those were among the
“major” findings of the
study, which the PTC said
demonstrated the government
needs to regulate
Fox saw the biggest increase
in per-hour profanity,
though the PTC
conceded many of the
ones it counted had actually
been bleeped or muted.
Had they not been
bleeped they could have
drawn FCC ire.
Actually, all of Fox’s
269% increase in profanity could probably be accounted
for by a single episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen,
where muted epithets fly like potato skins at a peel-off .
Speaking of peeling off , use of the non-hardware variety
of “screw” rose 121%.
PTC says instances of bleeped or muted f-bombs increased
to 276 in 2010 from 11 instances in 2005, or an fing
Muted or bleeped s-words, the PTC said, jumped to 95
in 2010 from 11 in 2005.
That doesn’t even include the title of CBS’s $#*! My Dad
Says. PTC does not consider that to be either bleeped or
muted, we’re told, because to say the title you have to say
the substituted word.
Doesn’t everyone say dollar sign, number sign, asterisk,
exclamation point my dad says?
AdKeeper’s Scott Kurnit:
Cable Schooled Me on
What to Do, and Avoid
“I’ve learned my lessons
from the cable industry,”
Scott Kurnit said.
Famous last words,
But Kurnit’s experience
as a programmer
(Showtime Event Television)
and cable operator
(Warner Amex/Qube) before
becoming a famous
(About.com) could help
make his latest endeavor,
AdKeeper, a success.
Kurnit and company, including
senior vice presiudent Tola Murphy-
Baran, the former Showtime and
National Football League exec, want
online advertisers to add a little “k” to
the corner of their ads.
Clicking it would enable a consumer to keep that ad —
stored on a Web page for later reference.
Say you were comparison shopping for a car. Click on
the little “k” and store a Web ad for, say, a Ford Fiesta
and compare it with ones for other cars in that class that
The cable lessons Kurnit learned include:
From MTV: Don’t pay anything or at least not much for
content. Advertisers will be supplying AdKeeper’s content.
From cable operators: Avoid gatekeepers. AdKeeper
works directly with the advertiser, not the site publisher.
Kurnit wants to work with publishers to help make the
“k” ubiquitous, though.
Twenty-two charter advertisers include CBS, Showtime
The first AdKeeper-enabled ads are to appear on Jan.
“Our plan is to buttonize every ad on the Internet,” Kurnit
Radio and television
ads also are in the sights
of AdKeeper, which
already has about 40 employees
on board, many
of them code writers, a
month after emerging
from stealth mode. Cable
is “on a path to openness,”
Kurnit said, and
AdKeeper will follow.
Vote Results Are In:
Dems More Likely
To Watch Cable Fare
Voters who vote Democrat are more predisposed to
favor cable television shows than their Republican counterparts,
a new survey suggests.
Experian Simmons, in a consumer survey concerning
non-news and non-music programming from the 2009-10
season, found that 17 of the top 20 most popular shows
among Democrats were cable shows, including the top
show, HBO’s news/talk show Real Time With Bill Maher.
Shows with African-American leads, such as Lifetime’s
Sherri and TNT’s Hawthorne finished in the top 10, reflecting
the influence of African-Americans within the Democratic
voting base, according
Only seven cable
shows made the top
20 among Republicans
— with History’s
Modern Marvels tracking
at No. 7. Reality
skew heavily among
Race, Dancing With the
Stars and American
Idol were all in the top
five. Republicans also
like HGTV’s homerelated
Virgins, Color Splash,
Unsellables and Dear
Genevieve all finished
in the top 20.
As in politics,
Democrats could not
agree on one show
among their top 20
lists, the researchers
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