Serious TV violence that occurs on over-the-air TV is found more often on firstrun syndicated shows than network programming, a new study has found.
The study, by the D.C.-based Center for Media & Public Affairs, found that 33 % more acts of serious violence occurred on the eight syndicated series than on all 74 network series.
Moreover, six of the top 10 most violent shows were syndicated, according to the study.
John Sheehan, executive director of the CMPA, said his group defined “serious violence” as acts involving armed and unarmed assaults, gunplay, sexual assaults and suicides.
Sheehan said the message that emerges from the study is that while Congress targets the four networks as the culprits in TV violence, the “real violence is in syndicated programs.”
CMPA based its findings on a study of the premiere episode of all four networks’ primetime fictional series, plus the premiere episode of the syndicated shows that aired on WDCA-TV, Washington, the independent station owned by Paramount.
The survey found that Rysher Entertainment’s “Highlander” had the most serious violent scenes, followed by All American Television’s “Acapulco H.E.A.T. ,” Cannell Distribution’s “Renegade,” the Fox series “Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.,” and Paramount’s “Star Trek: Next Generation.”
Rounding out the top 10 most violent series were Paramount’s “The Untouchables,” NBC’s “seaQuest DSV,” Par’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and the CBS duo of “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “South of Sunset.”