Mind the f–ks, please. That’s pretty much the Parents Television Council’s message to NBC over the network’s decision to try out airing “Saturday Night lIve” live coast-to-coast.
For the first time in its history, “Saturday Night Live” will air at 8:30 p.m. PT, as opposed to tape-delayed. That’s got Tim Winter a bit concerned.
“With NBC’s announcement that the entire nation will be watching the same live performance over its final four weeks, we are calling on NBC to be mindful that its one broadcast feed will air outside the ‘Safe Harbor’ for FCC broadcast indecency oversight in the Mountain and Pacific time zones,” the PTC president stated on Tuesday.
“Just as NBC anticipates reaching a much bigger and broader viewing audience for ‘SNL’ with this programming decision, that audience is likely to include children who would not otherwise be watching at 11:30 pm,” he continued. “Over the years, there has been the occasional instance of a performer going rogue, with an ‘f-bomb’ or something off-script. NBC’s broadcast standards team must be particularly on guard given that ‘SNL’ will air live during multiple time zones.”
Jimmy Fallon will be the first one tasked with keeping it clean for West-Coasters — he’ll return to host “Saturday Night Live” on April 15. The sketch-comedy show alum and current “Tonight Show” host will be followed by Chris Pine (May 6), Melissa McCarthy (May 13) and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (May 20).
“We also urge NBC to rate ‘SNL’ appropriately, which means that the show may warrant a TV-MA (mature audiences) if the network cannot assure families that the show’s normal TV-14 rating will be accurate,” Winter concluded. “While NBC is clearly making ‘SNL’ live for publicity and profit, the network still has a responsibility to ensure that children and families — many more of whom will be in the viewing audience given its earlier air time – are protected from explicit or indecent content.”
“SNL” had no comment for this story when reached by TheWrap.