From Ryan to Sipowicz
I know this is old news already... but since I posted on this topic here and here back in November, I felt an obligation to report that the FCC ruled that the unedited showing of "Saving Private Ryan" did not violate its guidelines on "indecency." This should send a signal to those 66 ABC affiliates who chose not to air the film in the wake of FCC crackdowns and fines in the post-Janet Jackson Boob Era.
It's interesting that the FCC suggests that it's all a matter of context. Saying "FUBAR" ("Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition") in "Saving Private Ryan" is okay, but would probably be cause for a fine if, say, Chris Rock had uttered it on the Academy Awards broadcast. In this atmosphere, it's understandable why Steven Bochco, co-creator of NYPD Blue, which ended its 12-year run last night in a glorious finale, would be reluctant to launch such a show today. As Bochco puts it here: "I don't think today we could sell NYPD Blue in the form that it launched 12 years ago ... I had hoped, and I think probably everybody in television had hoped, that NYPD Blue would pave the way for a more open approach to programming, a more adult, 10 o'clock kind of programming. But there's no question that over the course of the last 10 years, the medium has become increasingly conservative."
Well, either way, I'll miss the drama of Andy Sipowicz and the cops at the 15th Precinct. And I'll switch over to premium cable channels if I'd like a dose of "blue" language and images.