FCC Drops Indecency Charges Against 2 Shows

FCC Drops Indecency Charges Against 2 Shows 1Rulings Represent Victory For Networks in Their Fight Against Harsher Climate

Regulators backtracked and dropped indecency charges against two television shows, handing a major victory to networks that had gone to court over worries of higher fines and more-aggressive interpretations of indecency rules.

The Federal Communications Commission said it no longer considers an obscenity used during a live interview on CBS’s “The Early Show” to be indecent. The agency also dropped charges against episodes of ABC’s now-defunct “NYPD Blue,” on procedural grounds.

Although the use of an expletive during a news show was close to the line, it didn’t go over it, the FCC said. The reversal was an “exercise in caution,” FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in a prepared statement. “Hollywood continues to argue they should be able to say the F-word on television whenever they want. Today, the commission again disagrees.”