August 6, 2008

Sex Study. The Parents Television Co…

By Rich Heldenfels, The Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio

Aug. 6--Sex Study. The Parents Television Council, long a critic of sex and violence on television, is now advocating some sex on TV. As long as the people doing it are married to each other.

The PTC's latest study, Happily Never After, complains that "sex in the context of marriage is either non-existent on prime-time broadcast television, or is depicted as burdensome rather than as an expression of love and commitment.

"By contrast, extra-marital or adulterous sexual relationships are depicted with greater frequency and overwhelmingly, as a positive experience," the report says. "Across the broadcast networks, verbal references to nonmarital sex outnumbered references to sex in the context of marriage by nearly 3 to 1."

ABC had the most references to married sex, but "many of the references were negative," PTC said. --

More PTC. PTC monitored scripted prime-time programming on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW for four weeks in September-October 2007.

The organization focuses on broadcast networks rather than the wilder regions of cable. Broadcasters are more directly subject to government regulation and pressure than nonbroadcast channels.

The study did not include the MyNetworkTV broadcast operation because it "did not air programming that matched this study's criteria."

I have some problems with the study, especially when it comes to context. If an idiotic character favors infidelity, isn't that different from a sympathetic character who does so? And the "island" episode of 30 Rock, cited in the study, was hardly an endorsement of the bad behavior it described.

But you can read the entire study for yourself, or a summary, at --

Olympics Movie. With the Summer Olympics' opening ceremonies on Friday, Lions Lincoln Theatre, 156 Lincoln Way E., Massillon, will show Chariots of Fire, the 1981 drama about competitors in the 1924 Olympics. It will show at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $3 for the movie, $4 for the movie, popcorn and a drink.

If you can't get to the movie but want to revive the memory, just put some Vangelis on your MP3 and go running on the beach. --

On the Mend. Extra! reports that Kelsey Grammer is out of the hospital. He had a heart attack in May, appeared to be recovering, but went back to the hospital in late July after feeling faint.

A statement to the show from Grammer's rep said he is "feeling great and about to resume normal activities at home. He and his wife, Camille, want to thank everyone who expressed concern. They appreciated the kind words." --

Trivia Time. As many of you knew, the title character in the 1932 version of The Mummy was played by Boris Karloff. And a prize from the Archive of Leftover DVDs and Ridiculous Promotional Items will go to Doris Ashmore-Kent of Stow.

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and in the HeldenFiles Online blog at He can be reached at 330-996-3582 and [email protected]


To see more of the Akron Beacon Journal, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

Copyright (c) 2008, The Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

For reprints, email [email protected], call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.