PTC calls for 'Dexter' ad boycott


NEW YORK -- The Parents Television Council has called for advertisers to boycott CBS' Dexter because of its violent nature and asked CBS network affiliates to pre-empt the show.

The main character works for the police as a blood-spatter expert who has channeled his desire to kill by secretly targeting only criminals. The show was originally produced for Showtime, which is owned by CBS Corp. However, Showtime is a pay-cable network. CBS has edited the show for free broadcast to take out the most violent parts.

The PTC does not feel CBS has edited the show enough.

"Despite countless public calls for restraint and corporate responsibility, CBS broke its own promise to the public that it would employ careful editing and accurate ratings guidelines for Dexter," said PTC president Tim Winter. "Depictions of violence were barely altered from the Showtime network original format."

Winter also derided CBS for not labeling the show for mature audiences only.

"If, as CBS repeatedly promised, the program were targeted only to mature audiences, why wouldn't they assign a mature audience rating of TV-MA?" Winter said. "What could possibly lead them to determine that a show about a pathological serial killer hero could be appropriate for 14-year-old children?"

Winter called on CBS affiliates to pre-empt the show. "We urge the affiliates to exercise their power to do so," he said.

Among the advertisers who ran ads in the first episode to air on CBS were Capital One, Macy's, Pfizer and Burger King, along with assorted movie studios.

CBS had no comment or response to the PTC's most recent complaints about the show, but issued this statement earlier in response to previous PTC concerns:

"Dexter is an award-winning, critically acclaimed series for Showtime that will be edited for CBS in the same fashion that feature films, for many years, have been presented on broadcast television. The telecast of Dexter will comply with all network television standards, be edited with respect for artistic integrity, and scheduled responsibly in the last hour of primetime. As always, with broadcasts containing mature content, television audiences will be well informed with an appropriate V-chip rating and parental advisories in advance and during the broadcast."