×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Prison’ too violent?

Skein draws scorn from Gaul's CSA

The U.S. series “Prison Break,” a huge primetime hit for Gallic web M6, is at the center of a brouhaha in Gaul.

Season one began airing Aug. 31 and was soon drawing record audiences for France’s second commercial channel.

But at the beginning of November, days before the 22-episode season ended, M6 received a terse letter from broadcasting watchdog the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel, complaining that some episodes were too violent for its “not for under 10s” rating, displayed during the program.

Under Gallic regs, a “not for under 12s” rating would relegate the show to after 10 p.m., while a “not for under 16” rating — for programs with pornographic or extremely violent content — would mean a slot after 10:30 p.m.

M6 went ahead and screened the final episode, along with episode one of season two, on Nov. 8 — notching up an audience of 7 million viewers, the fourth biggest aud for the web since it launched 20 years ago.

M6 has defended its choice of rating to the CSA; a CSA working group will examine the web’s arguments Wednesday ahead of a plenary session of the CSA council, which will have the final word on Nov. 28.

But that decision will concern only the already-broadcast first season — not season two, which the authority has not seen and M6 has still to air.

M6 has made no comment on the CSA’s move, but, privately, execs called the situation “absurd.”

“If they stick to their guns, France will be the only country where ‘Prison Break’ is not allowed to air in primetime,” said one, pointing out that it airs in primetime in U.S., Sweden, Canada, Spain and the Netherlands.

A spokesman for the CSA said Tuesday that, unlike films, which are classified by a national board, broadcasters decide for themselves what ratings to attach to violent or sexually explicit TV programs, but the CSA can intervene if it feels they are being too lenient.

There are no specific guidelines, the spokesman said, and no quantitative criteria, such as the number of times a swear word is used, as in the U.K.

More TV

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Whiskey Tango Cavalier

    TV Review: 'Whiskey Cavalier'

    The crux of “Whiskey Cavalier” can be found right in its protagonist’s name. “Will Chase” is a purposefully ridiculous wink of a name that tries to be both debonair and very silly all at once, just like the FBI agent (played by Scott Foley) to which it belongs. This isn’t a regular spy drama, “Whiskey [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Malik Yoba to Reprise Role in 'New York Undercover' Reboot at ABC

    Malik Yoba, who starred as Detective J.C. Williams in the 90s show “New York Undercover,” is set to reprise the role in the ABC reboot, sources tell Variety. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore and Melissa Ortiz as they investigate the city’s [...]

  • Chris Burrous dead KTLA anchor

    KTLA Anchor Chris Burrous' Cause of Death Released

    An investigative report on KTLA anchor Chris Burrous has determined that his cause of death was attributed to methamphetamine toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Burrous, 43, was found unconscious at a motel in Glendale, Calif on December 27, and later died at the hospital. The death has been ruled as accidental. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER: Rabbit in the

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of Feb. 11: 'Masked Singer' Easily Tops Competition

    Fox’s “The Masked Singer” was the highest-rated broadcast show of the week in both Live+Same Day and Live+3. For the week of Feb. 11, the unscripted singing competition series went from a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 to a 3.4, a rise of 42%. In total viewers, the show went from 7.8 million viewers to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content