September 1993 – ABC has decided to ignore the pleas of thousands of Americans and scores of their network affiliates and air Steven Bochco’s new soft-core, violent pornographic NYPD BLUE. The program is set to begin in September.
On July 15, Bochco told USA Today that he would make no changes in the program. “If I do make any modifications, they will be very minor. The modification would not include language, nudity or violence.” However, two weeks later ABC announced they were taking 15 seconds from the initial program, forcing Bochco to back down on his pledge. Still, Bochco said that none of the nudity in the explicit sex scenes was eliminated.
Even the edited program was so explicit that many ABC affiliates still said they would not air the program. Jim Matthews, President and General Manager of WJKS in Miami, Florida, said his station “would not air NYPD BLUE in its current edited form.” Early reports indicated that as many as one-third of the affiliates would not air NYPD BLUE.
The liberal New York Times called NYPD BLUE “the raciest show ever to appear on the network’s prime-time schedule.” The program is so violent that it was originally said to be the only series which would carry the new warning about violence.
Marc Gunther, TV writer for the Detroit Free Press, said “If NYPD BLUE succeeds, the rules of prime-time television will have to be rewritten.
Another paper wrote: “In the shocking premiere episode of NYPD BLUE...viewers will see a naked couple making love and a prostitute setting up a half-naked detective for a hitman’s hail of bullets. And they will hear a stream of language strong enough to make a tough longshoreman blush....If Blue goes on the air in its present form, viewers will want to make sure the kids are in bed before a detective strips a policewoman—whose breasts and buttocks are clearly visible—as they make passionate love in a wild scene that would earn an ‘R’ rating in any movie theater.
“And when another detective...goes to a prostitute’s apartment, the audience sees her pulling his trousers off just before a Mafia hitman riddles the cop with bullets in a scene that splatters the screen with gore.”
Advertisers have stayed away from NYPD BLUE by droves. AFA president Donald E. Wildmon wrote every company which advertises on network television, sending them copies of the porn scenes taken from the program. Not one company said they plan to help sponsor the program. “ABC will fill the time slots with ads sold at a fraction of their normal rate. They will give away time to some movie companies. Only companies which buy distressed merchandise will advertise in the program. Companies which care about the public and the quality of their products will not help sponsor it. Companies like Slimfast and Thompson Medical (Dexatrim) are the kinds of sponsors the program will have. ABC will lose $1.5-2 million in advertising revenue every time the program airs,” Wildmon said.
He said that ABC will say all the time slots were sold out. “But they won’t tell you the price,” he said.
He urged concerned individuals to watch the program. “Then use your FIGHT BACK BOOK which AFA has mailed to you and call and write the sponsors the day after it airs to complain,” he said. AFA has mailed well over one million copies of the FIGHT BACK BOOK which contains the products and addresses of every company which advertises on network TV.
AFA is asking individuals to do the following:
• Call and write your ABC affiliate and ask them not to carry NYPD BLUE. Ask others to do the same. The local ABC affiliate’s address can be obtained in the phone directory, or from your cable company, or when calling to ask them not to carry NYPD BLUE.
• Reproduce the petition AFA mailed to you and distribute it. Be sure to fill in the address of your ABC affiliate at the top of the petition BEFORE reproducing it.
• Go to your local ABC affiliate at 12:00 noon on Monday, August 30, and join others in picketing your local station.