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Radio and Television Society takes on censorship and reality TV

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 8th 2006 9:31AM
Ronald Moore Battlestar GalacticaThis may come as a shock to you, readers, but the writers of scripted television programs hate reality TV. And, do you know what they hate even more than reality TV? Network censors. If you've been watching Studio 60, you already know this. Those standards and practices people are such prudish little worrywarts - cowering in their offices, praying the FCC won't smack the network's hand for using the word "butt" in primetime.

This past Wednesday, television's top showrunners got together for a Hollywood Radio and Television Society luncheon where they got to grouse collectively about the twin evils of Mark Burnett and broadcast standards. Chiming in were Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane, The Office's Greg Daniels, Lost's Damon Lindelof, Gilmore Girls' Amy Sherman-Palladino and Battlestar Galactica's Ron Moore (pictured) among others. The discussion was facilitated by Jimmy Kimmel. How much would you have loved to be in that room? How much would I love to be working for any single person in that room - really, any of them?

According to reports, most of the chatter was amicable and fairly middle of the road. The only real war stories came from the writers recounting their network censor run-ins. MacFarlane shared his frustration over not being able to bring his full arsenal of bodily humor to bear while Battlestar's Moore detailed on-going negotiations on the number of pelvic thrusts that could be shown before cutting away. It wasn't the number of thrusts that were the issue. It was the depiction of "rhythmic sex." I'm not even sure what that means.

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Brett: I'll give you that Survivor is better than Temptation Island. But the point most of us that don't like reality television is that we like scripted television. Shows like Idol, Survivor, and (supposedly, as I've never watched it) the Amazing Race are good TV. Just not my, or most other people's cup of tea.

Specifically in this post, you can't imagine that these Showrunners of scripted drama (And looking at that list, pretty damn good writers in their own right) don't think that reality TV's explosion over the last five years hasn't seriously cut into the number of their jobs that are out there?

December 08 2006 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Love

It annoys me when people lump all reality shows together as 'reality tv.' As if it's not possible for any reality show to actually be good. That is as stupid as saying that you hate sit-coms because you saw Encore! Encore! There are good reality shows and bad reality shows. Just like there are good and bad sit-coms and dramas.

December 08 2006 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

mmmmmm rythmic sex.

yes please

December 08 2006 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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