According to a new study, Fox Broadcasting Co. airs the most violent programming on network TV, and Fox’s “Adventures of Brisco County Jr.” is the most violent show in primetime.
That’s the claim of Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), who on Friday unveiled results of a study of primetime and Saturday morning TV violence by students at Concordia College in Minnesota.
Reps of Fox and of the “Brisco” series dismissed the study as flawed and “patently ridiculous.”
At a D.C. press confab, Dorgan used the occasion to pitch for passage of legislation requiring the FCC to compile a quarterly report card listing the most violent TV programs and the sponsors of those shows.
Compiling the study were 109 student volunteers who rated the violence content of 132 hours of programming on the networks and cable. Violence was defined as “the deliberate and hostile use of overt force by one individual against another.”
Fox was cited in the study for having 352 acts of primetime violence during the week, followed by ABC with 224, NBC with 187, and CBS with 172.
“Brisco County” was by far the most violent individual show, according to the report, displaying 117 acts of violence per hour. The second most violent program — with 44 acts per hour — was the film “Beverly Hills Cop,” which aired on ABC.
Preston Padden, Fox exec VP of affiliates, claimed the study’s”flaws are evident in its erroneous listing of ‘Star Trek: Deep Space 9’ as a Fox network program.” (The show, ranked ninth, is a Paramount syndie show that airs on some Fox stations.)
Padden defended “Brisco” as a “light-hearted comedic western that contains far less violence than the westerns most of us grew up watching.”
“Brisco” exec producer Carlton Cuse said he was concerned that “senators are focusing on this issue to such a great degree. … The episode of ‘Brisco’ monitored featured a boxing match and they counted each punch to come up with 117 violent incidents.”