PTC Goes After Advertisers Over CBS Series, '$h ! My Dad Says'

LOS ANGELES: The Parents Television Council today said it leveled “a stern warning” to 300 potential advertisers looking at the upcoming CBS series, “$h*! My Dad Says.” William Shatner stars in the series as the crotchety father of an adult son who moves back in with him. The show was unveiled at the CBS upfront in May and is scheduled to debut in the fall on Thursdays in prime time.

The PTC objects to the title of the series as it refers to a scatological term prohibited in prime-time on broadcast TV. CBS refers to the series as “’Bleep’ My Dad Says.” The PTC said it appreciated assurances that the show’s content would lack profanity, but the title still walked and quacked like a duck.

“CBS has a new program titled ‘Shit My Dad Says,’” the PTC wrote in its missive to the advertising community. “Although CBS is marketing the program as ‘$h*! My Dad Says,’ the symbols offer a distinction without a difference. They are talking about ‘Shit.’ ...Not only is ‘Shit’ planned for inclusion in the family hour, but it is slated for one of the highest viewing nights of the week.”

“Unless or until CBS chooses a different title for this program, we are urging advertisers to avoid sponsoring such an abomination purported to be lighthearted fun,” the letter continues. “The advertisers have two options. Either they can be complicit in the effort to serve up excrement in front of children and families, or they can choose not to associate their products and services with excrement.”

PTC said the premise of the show had “potential for good entertainment. The question is why CBS feels the need to shove harsh profanity into the faces of Americans through the program’s title. And the program title is being promoted at times throughout the broadcast day. Their reliance on symbols as a veil is feeble at best.”

PTC requested responses from the 300 advertisers by Aug. 15 to inform its membership which ones are buying the show.
-- Deborah D. McAdams