CBS repurpose plan irks PTC


Conservative watch group Parents Television Council on Wednesday denounced CBS' plan to repurpose "Dexter" and other scripted series from corporate sibling Showtime.

"These Showtime programs feature some of the most extremely graphic content anywhere on television -- cable or broadcast," PTC president Tim Winter said. "We felt an urgency to make them know that if they want to put some of the most heinous examples of explicit content from cable on broadcast television, they have to be held accountable."

With the networks running out of original scripted programming because of the writers strike, CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves said during an investor conference Tuesday that the network plans to air edited versions of some Showtime series, including the racy hit serial killer drama "Dexter" (HR 12/5).

No decision has been made yet on which other Showtime shows besides "Dexter" will make the leap to CBS and a timetable for that.

Winter urged CBS to "reconsider this act of corporate desperation" and threatened to "take action" if the network proceeds with its repurposing plan. The action will include putting pressure on advertisers to pull out of the series on CBS.

A CBS spokesĀ¬man said Wednesday that the Showtime series "will be edited for network television broadcast standards."

"Showtime already produces free-TV versions for all or most of its original episodic programming," the spokesman said.

Premium cable series, which often include racy content, regularly produce cleaned-up versions to air in broadcast/basic cable syndication. Such toned-down incarnations of HBO's "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City" run on A&E and TBS, respectively, but the scrutiny on broadcast TV is usually much tighter.

CBS and PTC have locked horns several times, most notably over Janet Jackson's Super Bowl halftime "wardrobe malfunction" and the teen orgy scene from "Without a Trace."