The media watchdog calls the network's move a “ploy for attention” that endangers children
The Parents Television Council is condemning The CW's choice to run an uncensored version of next week's episode of “Reign” online.
The network's plan is to air the episode that adheres to broadcast content standards on television and then another version with two more explicit sex scenes online.
“The CW Network is doing parents no favors by allowing children unfettered access to sexual content from this young adult and teen-targeted show online,” said the PTC's director of communications and policy, Dan Isett, in a statement. “It's appalling that a broadcast network would flaunt broadcast standards in this manner and the network should be condemned for this action.”
A CW representative told EW that “the network is not adding R-rated content here — just offering a more sexually intense edit of the existing program.” One scene appears at the top of the program while the other sex scene arrives toward the end of the episode.
Nonetheless, the PTC said that The CW's plan is “at the expense of children” by skirting broadcast standards and making the uncensored episode available online where children can watch them with greater accessibility.
“This is nothing more than a network ploy to increase attention for its show, but it comes at the expense of children,” Isett added. “Anyone with common sense should realize that online standards for broadcast networks should be the same as they are on television. There's a reason that the CW Network's own standards department cut the two sex scenes from the broadcast version – they weren't appropriate for television. So what makes them appropriate to post online where presumably children will be able to watch them with no rating or blocking capability? Nothing. The CW Network should be ashamed.”
A representative for “Reign” says the network has no comment on the PTC's protest.
“Reign,” a retelling of the game of thrones that surrounded Scotland's Queen Mary during her teen years, was just given an early Season 2 renewal. So far, its first season averages 1.7 million viewers per episode and a .63 with the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. It airs Thursdays at 9/8c.