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Primetime TV's Fall Line-Up for Ratings: 'Fisting', Anal Sex, Penis Pictures

Primetime TV's Fall Line-Up for Ratings: 'Fisting', Anal Sex, Penis Pictures

With FCC fines almost non-existent, several low-rated television shows are pushing the boundaries with talk of “fisting” and anal sex, as well as penis pictures, to boost ratings. 

Primetime television is apparently upping the ante as far as explicit and sexual content this fall, and it seems as though casual conversations about awkward dates are a thing of the past. Now, it’s getting pretty graphic.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fox’s New Girl is just one example of this new trend. Zooey Deschanel’s quirky girl next door persona is out of season. The series premiere opened with her character repeatedly saying “sex fist!” in reference to a friend’s one night stand at a wedding.

It didn’t stop there. Several jokes about fisting, getting stoned, and a man with a micro-penis were presented. As executive producer Brett Baer put it, “We got away with murder.” After the premiere, he explained to the Hollywood Reporter that they were simply giving broadcast standards a “run for their money.”

Fox show The Mindy Project reportedly made the plot of an entire episode about anal sex. Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina had a debate as to whether or not he accidentally “slipped” and went through the back door. Several talks of sexual positions such as “neck tie” and “bag pipe” followed.

Moving on to ABC’s hit drama Scandal, which regularly has its audience on the edge of their seats, the season jumpstarted with Kerry Washington and Scott Foley getting intimate on a beach.

Showrunner Shonda Rhimes also made “Eiffel Towering” relevant to primetime several weeks later when she featured it on her show. The president’s teenage daughter reportedly had a sex tape in circulation, too.

The kicker was on Oct. 30: A sex scene from Scandal aired a few minutes after a Charlie Brown Halloween special on ABC. Rhimes said in July she had no intention of altering content on her show, and she looked forward to being censored.

Rhimes’ other drama, How To Get Away With Murder, featured an episode with characters muttering, “He did things to my a** that made my eyes water,” and “Why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?”

All of this for what? Ratings, of course. Network sensors and FCC fines are reportedly being issued much less, as executives thrive on the controversial nature of their shows.

“As lines blur between broadcast, basic cable and premium cable, there may be a concentration of pushing sexual boundaries in certain shows,” said one top executive, via the Hollywood Reporter. 

As Winter pointed to a sketched penis from NBC’s Bad Judge, he said, “Hopefully, the FCC will levy a fine or two and let broadcasters know that the law is still in place and they have to respect it.”

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