Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bad Words on TV

Everyone knows George Carlin’s famous “Words you can’t say on TV” routine, but did you know that at least two of the words on his infamous list have actually been spoken on American broadcast television? Even more surprising, their appearance in scripted shows happened more than twenty years ago on a network not known for edginess- CBS!

 At a time when granny approved programming like Murder, She Wrote was still gracing American TVs, Sharon Gless was tearing down barriers. Believe it or not, she was the very first person to purposely use the word “tits” in a scripted show- the pilot of her short-lived drama The Trials of Rosie O’Neill. 

 Sharon Gless has always been known as someone who enjoys edgier, barrier breaking roles, so it’s no shock that she would willingly embrace the opportunity to fly in the face of convention. However, nobody would say the same of Mark Harmon. ‘Dependable’ & ‘Safe’ would describe his project choices. Who would have guessed that he’d be the first actor to say ‘shit’ on network television? He did- on his CBS show Chicago Hope. A daring choice for a network popular with the blue hairs.