I suppose it's time for me to embrace the changes in society. Otherwise, I'll be mired in old-style thinking and forever be left in the wake of society, and who wants that?
There is a new TV program starting this fall called "Shit My Dad Says." Except it's not actually called that. Since you can't say shit on TV, they had to spell it with symbols, so it looks more like $h*!, which is a strange way to spell it. When they promote the show on TV, they have to say Bleep My Dad Says, since you can't say shit on TV, but you can say bleep, so they say bleep my dad says. As though we aren't supposed to know that bleep means shit.
I think the show is a comedy, since I can't imagine a dramatic program using the word shit (or the word $h*!) in the title. The Wikipedia entry says that $h*! is pronounced bleep. I guess I can't read, either.
So, here we have a new television program on a major network (CBS) that uses a profanity in its title, but they can't say the profanity because they can't use profanities on network television - especially in the title of the show. I'd guess that's bad for marketing, but I'm mired in old-style thinking. I wonder why the producers had to include the word Shit in the title and couldn't just call it "Stuff My Dad Says," unless the show itself is shitty and they figured that making the title controversial would draw viewers.
On May 19, 2010, CBS announced the show's official name and 8:30 pm time slot at its upfront presentation of the Fall 2010 schedule. Addressing reporters' concerns regarding the title, the network assured them that the expletive would not be used in promos. Soon thereafter, the Parents Television Council announced that it was protesting the title because it alluded to an obscenity. The PTC is threatening CBS with broadcast license challenges for any affiliate airing the show or its promos before 10 pm.
Responding to the controversy, CBS stated, "[The show] will in no way be indecent and will adhere to all CBS standards. Parents who chose to do so will find the show can be easily blocked using their VChip." Show star William Shatner has commented on the show's title, saying "We say spit; why can't we say shit?" In addition, Bill Gorman from TVbytheNumbers wrote that the PTC protest was just giving the show more publicity, which he expects will boost ratings.
At the July 2010 Television Critics Association press tour, Shatner further commented on the title saying, "The word 'shit' is around us. It isn't a terrible term. It's a natural function. Why are we pussyfooting?"
Can you say pussyfooting on TV? I thought Shatner was one of those old-timers who remembered when "All in the Family" created controversy by flushing a toilet on TV. The controversy might boost ratings, but people won't watch $h*! if it's shit. Perhaps the bigger problem is that television is at a point in its development that they have to resort to a program with a profanity in its title.
Certainly, there is a lot of shit on television. Most of it gets huge ratings numbers. While most of them should have the word shit in the title, I suspect that actually putting the word in the title might be a bit of overkill.
P.S. Blogger would not allow the actual title, $h*! to be used as a title, since the symbol ! isn't allowed. Why then, is it allowed as a network TV title?