Group’s new study decries what it says is increasingly violent broadcast network primetime, with NBC leading the way with almost seven instances per hour in the 2005-06 season.
If you looking for murder and mayhem on primetime TV, look no further than NBC, says a new study by the Parents Television Council.
The study—”Dying to Entertain”—finds that the network of Law & Order and Crossing Jordan led the Big Four broadcast networks in instances of violence per hour during the 2005-06 season with 6.79, up 259.3% compared to the 2003-04 season.
The runners up: CBS, 5.56 instances (up 20.9% from 2002-03); Fox (3.84, down 27.8%) and ABC (3.80, down 9.5%).
For all networks, including the now defunct UPN and WB, the study finds 4.41 violent acts per hour last season, up 15.4% from 2003-04.
Bottom line, PTC says, last season was “the most violent” since it began keeping score in 1998. ABC, it says, had the biggest increase in violence since 1998, with instances increasing 309%.
The PTC released the study at a press conference in Washington today as part of a new campaign to reduce primetime TV violence. The group is best known for its crusade against broadcast indecency.
PTC says something must be done.
The V-Chip is “no solution,” the group argues. Instead, PTC says, it’s time for Congress and the FCC to revisit the issue of TV violence and consider regulating it just as they do indecency.
The FCC is working its own study on TV violence that, sources say, may reach some of the same conclusions at the PTC.
An earlier 2003 PTC study, called “TV Bloodbath,” which examined content from the 1998, 2000 and 2002 TV seasons, was used as a baseline for this most recent report.
The new study also finds an increase in scenes involving sex and violence.
“Rapists, sexual predators and fetishists are cropping up with increasing frequency on prime time programs like Law and Order: SUV; C.S.I; C.S.I Miami; C.S.I New York, Medium, Crossing Jordan, Prison Break, ER and House,” the study says.
Between 1998 and 2005-06, the PTC study finds that violence rose 45% during the 8 p.m. “family hour,” 92% during the 9 p.m. hour and 167% during the 10 p.m. hour.
PTC also points out that Fox, which had been the “second-most violent network in 1998 experienced the smallest increase” since then.
Among other PTC findings: “UPN and Fox were the only networks to feature less violence during the Family Hour in 2005-2006 than in 1998. Violence on Fox decreased by 18% and on UPN by 83%.”
“NBC experienced the biggest increase in violent content—635%—during the 10 p.m. hour, from two instances of violence per hour in 1998 to nearly 15 instances of violence per hour in 2005-2006.”