Network television isn’t exactly known for its super racy content, but an episode of Scandal airing on October 30 certainly caused a bit of an uproar. The episode in question aired opposite a showing of It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, leading to complaints. Namely, these complaints stem from the good ‘ol Parents Television Council.
Over the holiday weekend, ABC made the mistake of airing the classic It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown right before airing the political thriller Scandal. Normally, this would not be a major problem, as the Scandal characters are frequently clothed and invested in crisis management in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the episode of Scandal in question began with a pretty steamy sex scene. A second problem stems from the extremely short commercial break that aired between the end of the Charlie Brown program and the beginning of the Scandal episode.
Luckily, the PTC actually made the video available to watch showing the transition from the locker room to the bedroom.
There were only 26 short seconds between the time Sally kicked a locker and Olivia Pope stepped out of a sexy swimsuit in order to get her freak on. According to the PTC, that’s not remotely enough time for the average parent to be aware of what is happening and change the channel. As a result, PTC President Tim Winter says, “Shame on ABC for putting a peep show next to a playground.” He goes on to make a few more comments about why ABC’s actions are reproachable.
"Unless parents had the remote control in their hand, thumb on the button and aimed directly at the TV screen, they didn’t have a chance. Such a transition is grossly irresponsible by the network and entirely unfair for parents. ABC owes families an apology.”
As you can see from the above video, there is an entire commercial between the end of It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and the Scandal opening sequence. Despite this, a few people did seem to have been caught unawares, resulting in tweets like the following:
So yes, the changeover happened quickly enough that it was commented on, although there was more amusement than ire from audience members at the mishap. Plus, it seems like a situation that ABC didn't think through all the way when figuring out its scheduling block and commercial breaks rather than a situation that will continue to repeat itself in the future. On top of this, while the PTC tends to go up in arms about events like this, the Scandal mishap is among the tamer issues the group has ever complained about. It’s not like network TV goes full frontal like subscription cable, and no kids were permanently harmed by the images, even if they did catch a few seconds of Olivia Pope in the bedroom. In the future, if you do have kids staying up to watch programming during primetime and you want to avoid potential sexual moments, we highly suggest DVR.