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


    Daniel Rezende on Netflix Brazilian Series ‘Nobody’s Looking’

    Having premiered on Netflix Nov. 22, “Nobody’s Looking” marks the first collaboration between Gullane and Netflix – their second, “Boca a Boca” is in development- and comes from a long list of new projects that the streaming giant has announced with it’s $87 Million investment in Brazilian content. The series embodies the streaming platform’s push [...]

  • Chuck LorreVariety Innovate Summit, Presented by

    Chuck Lorre Talks Streaming Vs. Broadcast, WGA-Agency Battle at Innovate Summit

    With “The Kominsky Method,” Chuck Lorre ventured out of his broadcast comedy comfort zone and took a leap into the world of streaming, an unknown quantity for him. During a keynote conversation at the Variety Innovate summit, held Thursday at the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood, Lorre talked about how making a show for a [...]

  • Jason Segel as Peter, Eve Lindley

    TV News Roundup: AMC Announces 'Dispatches From Elsewhere' Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, “Dispatches From Elsewhere” starring Jason Segel has been scheduled for a two-night premiere date and Netflix released a teaser for Season 2 of “You.” CASTINGS Briana Cuoco has been cast in HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant” in the recurring role of Cecilia. The series details the chilling story of a flight [...]

  • Supergirl -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths:

    'Arrowverse' Boss Breaks Down Journey to 'Crisis on Infinite Earths'

    It’s an event nearly 500 hours in the making when the “Arrowverse” and fellow CW superhero series “Black Lightning” collide in the five-part epic crossover event, “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Inspired by the iconic graphic novel by the same name, “Crisis on Infinite Earths” finds the “Arrowverse” heroes — including Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), The [...]

  • Rich Battista

    Imagine Entertainment CEO Rich Battista Exits After Less Than Four Months

    Rich Battista, the recently boarded chief executive of Imagine Entertainment, has exited his post at the production company after joining but a few months ago in August, Variety has learned. “Rich Battista has left Imagine Entertainment,” said Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, the founders of the company, in a joint statement. “We thank Rich for [...]

  • Lamia Chraïbi Teams With Hicham Lasri

    Lamia Chraibi Teams With Hicham Lasri on Pan-Arab Supernatural Series 'Meskoun' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Lamia Chraibi, a leading producer of daring films from the Middle East and North Africa region, is developing “Meskoun,” an ambitious pan-Arab genre-bending series with Moroccan filmmaker Hicham Lasri (“Jahilya”) on board as showrunner. Chraibi (“Mimosas”) will produce the 14-episode series with her Moroccan banner La Prod, along with Mohamed Hefzy’s Egyptian company Film Clinic, [...]

  • Kevin CostnerKevin Costner, who stars in

    Kevin Costner Sets National Parks Investigative Services Branch Drama at ABC

    “Yellowstone” star Kevin Costner is expanding his television universe to include a whole lot more national parks. Variety has learned that the Oscar winner has set up a one-hour drama project at ABC about the Investigative Services Branch of the National Parks Service. Costner is co-writing the series with showrunner Aaron Helbing and will also [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content