5:46pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
ABC.com Pulls 'Scandal' Episode in Wake of School Shooting
ABC briefly removed the midseason finale of political thriller Scandal from its website in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
The episode, which featured the grisly slayings of a family of four -- mother, father and two young children (and their dog) -- was made available early Monday along with current seasons of Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Once Upon a Time and Revenge. The hour, which aired Thursday -- the day before the Newtown tragedy -- featured the murder of the family as a way to send a message to a character framed for shooting the president of the United States.
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"Out of respect for those affected by the tragic events in Newtown, Conn., the Scandal winter finale 'Blown Away' has been temporarily taken down online," ABC wrote in a post on its site Monday afternoon that also thanked fans for their patience and understanding. "We know fans are excited to see the episode, and we will update this post the moment we know when it will be available in the ABC.com Full Episode Player and the ABC Player Apps."
Showrunner Shonda Rhimes, a mother of two, also tweeted the link Monday explaining why the episode wasn't available online.
Scandal joins a growing list of TV and film adjustments in the wake of Friday's deadly shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 28 people dead, including gunman Adam Lanza, 20, and his mother. Twenty first-grade students were among the victims in Lanza's attack before police say he turned the gun on himself.
Earlier on Monday, TLC delayed the premiere of Best Funeral Ever, a special about unique funerals; Sunday's Homeland season finale featured an additional disclaimer warning viewers about "disturbing" content; Fox pulled several originals from its Sunday night animated block; and Syfy on Friday opted not to air a new episode of Haven it centered on violence at a high school. Elsewhere, Saturday Night Live opened its Christmas episode with a children's choir singing "Silent Night."
In addition, movie studio Paramount delayed Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher premiere in Pittsburgh and canceled a Lincoln Center fundraiser screening, while Fox canceled a Parental Guidance postscreening party.
UPDATED: By late Monday, the episode was restored on ABC.com.