CBS Entertainment president Leslie Moonves assured the Hollywood creative community Tuesday that the new TV content code adopted by broadcasters last week “will not influence our programming one iota.”
At the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena, Moonves said the decision to accept a new content ratings system was “a very difficult call (and) I respect NBC for what they did.”
NBC was the lone dissenter to reject the new guidelines, which call for the addition of S, V, L and D codes on programming to signal the presence of sex, violence, foul language and suggestive dialogue. But Moonves said that won’t mean NBC will have more creative freedom than will CBS.
“The ratings will not affect anything we do for one second,” Moonves said. “We think its will have zero effect. The whole point is to inform parents about what’s on our schedule, not to edit what we’re putting on the air.”
Moonves conceded that producers in Hollywood are “a little nervous” about the new code. “They’re worried we will program differently and try to put restrictions on them,” he said. “I’m here to say that will never happen, not as long as I’m here, anyway.”
Perhaps to prove his point, Moonves described the new Steven Bochco drama “Brooklyn South” as “shocking,” and said it could be the first network primetime series to receive a TV-MA rating — for mature audiences.
“There will be 400 letters in front of that show,” Moonves said referring to the content warnings. “The violence is extreme, but it’s done for a reason. It’s done to show that violence isn’t pretty.”
Separately at the press tour, the Eye web announced that CBS Sports is planning to produce a primetime docudrama called “My Sergei.” The docudrama will star figure skater Ekaterina Gordeeva on her life and the fatality of her husband and skating partner Sergei Grinkov.
CBS Sports also unveiled more hosts for its Olympics coverage next year. Pat O’Brien will be the latenight host, while daytime and weekend duties will be handled by Bill Macatee and Andrea Joyce.