What’s Alan Watching?, a pilot produced by Eddie Murphy, originally ran on CBS in 1989. The show, though, never got picked up past the first episode. Sort of hard to believe, as it was the perfect recipe for an 80’s or 90’s television show: the dweeby, in this case younger, sibling has to deal with his jerk older brother (David Packer) and ditzy, self-centered sister played by a pre-The Nanny Fran Drescher, whose lack of “MAAA” shouts was a little jarring for me. For Alan Hoffstetter, the dweeb in What’s Alan Watching?, played by Corin Nemec, the only way to do that is through televsion.
The Supreme Court recently ruled in further policing the content on broadcast television, saying the the Federal Communications Commission has standards for indecency that are too vague. This essentially means that the FCC is being asked to place more specific restrictions on TV’s content. Network television stations are only fined after something is deemed indecent. They do not need to be further censored and deciding what should be censored after the fact is unfair. Also, censoring network television at all isn’t needed.
In this day and age, when free expression is so valued and uncensored content is so readily available, a move like this seems counterproductive. An instance known as a fleeting expletive or a fleeting image has happened many times in recent history. This excuses accidental indecent material on live television. The exception no longer exist. Janet Jackson’s well-known “wardrobe malfunction” and cursing on live award shows will no longer be protected, even if accidental. Any nude scene, such the one in a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue, will now face harsher penalty.