Who says you can’t have some good, clean fun with indecency?
Fox thinks so, and to prove it, the net’s toon skein “Family Guy” made the FCC anti-indecency squad the unpixilated butt of its Nov. 6 episode.
In the episode, a “wardrobe malfunction” during a live telecast of the Emmys causes the FCC to censor all the fave shows of family guy Peter Griffin. “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” for example, becomes “The (bleep) Van (bleep) Show.”
So Peter starts his own TV station and, with the help of his talking dog Brian, creates edgy programming that prompts the FCC to shut down his station and start telling him how to live.
According to net synopsis, Peter and family then “take matters into their own hands and head to Washington, D.C., to fight for their right to enjoy fart jokes again.”
OK, maybe the fun’s not so clean, but consider the episode’s origins.
“Family Guy” was canceled in 2002, but DVD sales were so strong that Fox execs brought the show back last spring. In the interim, however, indecency complaints — and FCC fines — skyrocketed, particularly after Janet Jackson flashed the world during the 2004 Super Bowl.
“A lot of things we did before, we now couldn’t do,” says “Guy” exec producer David Goodman. “But we didn’t really know what we could do.” Guidelines from both the FCC and net’s standards & practices were vague at best. “All we knew was that defecating seemed to be a big problem.”
Is Goodman worried the FCC might not have a sense of humor about itself?
“It’d be the greatest compliment of all if they actually watched us and fined us,” he says, laughing. “We’d know we’d gotten their attention.”