Facebook Twitter

KSL PULLS `PICKET FENCES,’ CALLS THE SHOW `OFFENSIVE’

SHARE KSL PULLS `PICKET FENCES,’ CALLS THE SHOW `OFFENSIVE’

KSL-Ch. 5 announced that it will no longer carry "Picket Fences," a CBS network series, because of content the station deems "offensive."

The station did not carry this past Friday's episode and will not resume airing the series unless changes are made."We have struggled with this show since it went on the air and particularly over the past several weeks," said Bill Murdoch, KSL's vice president and general manager.

What prompted the station to pull "Picket Fences" last week was an episode that featured a teenage girl who becomes pregnant as the result of incest. When her polygamist father is brought up on charges, he states that he is a Mormon.

Told by a judge that Mormons renounced polygamy in 1890, the character states that he and many other Mormons still believe in the practice.

"The episode grossly misrepresents The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns KSL-TV," said Bruce Reese, KSL's president. "The show suggests that the practice of polygamy continues in the church today. It is obviously not true.

"We have worked with CBS to get them to change the show to eliminate the potential nationwide spread of this misrepresentation and the enforcement of old stereotypes. They have declined to do so."

And Reese said that that episode, which also featured "a deputy who enters into a dating relationship with twins, one of whom is depicted as having an orgasm by herself in the back seat of a car," was just one of many that troubled the station's management.

" `Picket Fences' has walked a very fine line all year in terms of the subjects it addresses and the way it addresses them," Reese said. "A USA Today article . . . supposedly praising the show describes some of the subjects: `a nun who hums "Killing Me Softly" as she mercy kills,' `a Norman Bates type of guy who dances with his wife's corpse . . . for 10 years,' and `the prosecutor who ended up dead in a teen's bathtub (who) had a thing for bathing in other folks' bathtubs while they weren't home.' "

KSL has received complaints from viewers about the show. Murdoch said a recent episode featuring a preteen's nocturnal emission generated over 100 critical telephone calls to the station.

But it was the episode this past Friday that led to the decision to cancel the show, Reese said. "We hope the producers will get some message from our action," he said.

And the station has not entirely ruled out allowing "Picket Fences" to return to its airwaves.

"If the producers decide to get rid of the focus on the bizarre and aberrant, we might reconsider our decision," Murdoch said.

KSL has rejected four other network series during the past five years. "Garbage Pail Kids," a children's show, was rejected during its developmental stage. It never made it on the air nationally.

Other shows were "Dirty Dancing" and "2000 Malibu Road," neither of which ever aired on KSL. And the station dumped "Doctor, Doctor" in midseason.

The three shows were subsequently canceled by or completed limited runs on CBS.