Thanks to the writers strike, CBS is bringing Showtime’s brilliant-but-bloodsoaked “Dexter” to prime time. CBS owns the pay-cable channel, so we can see the appeal in reusing programming that most of the country has never seen.
But this is either a smart risk or foolhardy one: While the common perception is that CBS is a network for the Metamucil set, watchdog groups are convinced that it’s a hotbed of sex and violence. The well-organised Parents Television Council, in particular, has been carping about the network’s many iterations of crime drama CSI. And CSI is kid’s stuff compared to Dexter, which is a mostly sympathetic look at a serial killer.
This isn’t the first time that risque pay-cable hits have moved to other formats: HBO has already moved edited versions of “Sex and the City” and the “Sopranos” to cable channels TNT and A&E, respectively. But while regular cable is much tamer than pay-cable, it still doesn’t have any FCC-enforced standards. Meanwhile the broadcast networks have been under increased scrutiny since 2004 – when CBS’s Superbowl broadcast introduced “Nipplegate” into the national lexicon.
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