The youth-driven CW is about to show a whole new side of its programming, and it could change the way its young demographic watches broadcast-quality content.
The network will show two versions of its period drama Reign this week. The first will be appropriate for broadcast television. The second, apparently, will not.
The episode airing at 9 p.m. tonight will be followed up by an online version to be posted tomorrow morning on the channel’s official web site. The latter will include two sex scenes that wouldn’t get past network censors.
Networks have released more risque edits of episodes in the past, but it was typically on home video long after the episode had originally aired (such as a couple “banned” episodes of Family Guy). Or the cuts were online, but were merely longer and not more graphic (such as NBC’s Parks and Recreation and CBS’ How I Met Your Mother director’s cuts of a couple episodes). But in this case, a broadcaster is unveiling two versions of the same episode during the same week, with one cut containing content that was ordered removed by the network’s standards department.