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17 November 2007

What proportion of your television channels are currently displaying violence? [More:]Just a quick channel surf: what's your count of violent imagery versus total number of channels? Where do you live? state, country, big vs small city?
Does football count as violence?
posted by mischief 17 November | 20:06
I'm not actually going to turn on the TV and channel surf because (1) my tuner is somewhere in a pile of stuff I have to clean up and am avoiding, (2) my tuner is set up for 'favorite channels', and I tend to be a non-violent guy so that'll skew the results and (3) 1/4 to 1/3 of most channels' airtime is commercials, the only violence during them is occasional cartoon slapstick. So I'm going to do a survey of likely violent content on the current listed programs on my hundred-some-odd cable channels and get back to you in a few minutes. (It's a very interesting idea though, FFF. If I end up turning it into a TV article I can sell, you'll get a 20% finders fee)
posted by wendell 17 November | 20:14
Violence seems to have actually phased out in recent years in favour of corpse dramas (which, among other things, are cheaper than shoot-'em-ups).

I'll give it a quick flip-through and post my findings in a few minutes.
posted by Reggie Digest 17 November | 20:14
Violence seems to have actually phased out in recent years in favour of corpse dramas (which, among other things, are cheaper than shoot-'em-ups).

And more importantly provide jobs for the Inanimate-Americsn community.
posted by jonmc 17 November | 20:16
Emeril's on. BAM! The guy on This Old House is using a sledge hammer to knock out a wall, and the Titanic is sinking. Six football games, 3 local TV news covering a big accident, and those two idiots on Discovery who blow shit up. Five commercials.

Las Vegas.
posted by mischief 17 November | 20:23
Nonviolent: 52
Talking about violence: 8
Violent: 3, including a piece on CNN about Iraq, a boxing match, and a hockey fight.

I live in Canada.
posted by Reggie Digest 17 November | 20:40
I get 76 channels, 8 of them have violence on them (including violent sports). I live in dallas btw.
posted by puke & cry 17 November | 20:57
(7) Action Movies - Denzel in "The Seige", "The Man in the Iron Mask", Steven Seagal in "Half Past Dead" (en espanol), "The Outsiders" (en espanol), "El Regresso Impossible" with Russell Crowe en espanol, Schwarzenegger in "Collateral Damage", Clint in "Firefox", "The Johnson County War" (western)
(6) Football - (a violent sport but also THE most heavily padded), 5 college games and "Greatest High School Football Rivalries"
(2) Crime Documentaries - "The Deadly Case of Mr. Hyde" a real-life multiple murderer; "North Mission Road" cops investigate murder
(1) "Criss Angel: Mindfreak" - there WILL be self-mutilation...
(2) Comedy/Cartoon Violence - "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" (if I recall, more ouch than haha), "Scooby Doo in Where's My Mummy"
(1) Cruelty to Animals - "Animal Cops: Houston"
(1) Fightsport - "The Ultimate Fighter" team competition

(3) 'Reality' Shows With Violent Potential - "Missing": may contain re-created kidnapping scenes, "A Haunting": scary re-creations of how they became ghosts, "Primer Impacto" tabloid magazine en espanol with violent-sounding title
(2) Verbally Violent Talk Shows: "Nancy Grace" and "Geraldo at Large"
(1) "Hogan Knows Best" (does he still body slam his kids?)

non violence:
(7) Non-Action Movies - "La Bamba" (except for the plane crash at the end*), "I Me Wed" (Lifetime), "Titanic" (except for the ship sinking at the end*), "Kes" (on TCM), "The Day After" (except for the nuclear bombs at the beginning**), "Saving Silverman", "Baby Boom"
*both of these movies are in their first hour
**this movie is in its second hour
(4) Celebrity/Entertainment 'News'/Interviews - "TV Guide's The 411", "Hollywood Shootout" (nope, no shooting, just talking), "Forbes 20 Billionaire Heiresses: Young, Fabulous and Incredibly Rich", "50 Greatest TV Icons" (includes Buffy, Tony Soprano, Charlie's Angels, Captain Kirk, Hawkeye on MASH and Homer Simpson as the only ones prone to or affected by violence - 12%)
(3) Documentaries Not Violent, Just Scary and/or Disgusting: Bill Moyers Journal on the Katrina Aftermath; "A Global Warning" on climate change; "Broken Government: Waging War on the VA"
(3) Non-Violent Talk - "League of Women Voters on Local Government", "American Perspectives": no fights will break out there; "Richard Rhodes on the USA/USSR arms race": scary weapons but all talk
(3) Safe SitComs - "Seinfeld: The Cigar Store Indian", "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody", "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide",
(7) Non-Violent (Mostly) Competition - "The Next Iron Chef", "America's Next Top Model", "I Love New York", "Women's Golf", "NASCAR Championship Week Festivities" (not the race itself), "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire", "Project Runway"
(6) Non-Violent Activities - "Split Ends" (Style Channel), "Color Splash" (HGTV), "Galapagos" (Natl Geo), "Luxurious Log Homes" (Travel Channel), and two Real Estate Shows, "Flip That House" & "Flipping Out", that sound more violent than they are.
(3) Shopping Channels - handbags, silver and gold, Emeril's kitchenware (BAM! hey, that's violent!)
(1) Music/Variety - espanol Tex Mex show with a VERY intriguing title: "Sin Rodeo"

20 violent channels
36 non-violent channels
6 borderline
and that's just the Basic Cable tier, not digital, premium or HD channels, but I'm worn out...
posted by wendell 17 November | 21:59
in favour of corpse dramas

instead of watching violence, we prefer watching people talk about violence. just like instead of watching the presidential debates, we prefer watching people talk about the presidential debates. just like right now instead of looking to see what percentage of shows on my tv are depicting violence, i'm responding to people discussing the percentage of shows on my tv that are depicting violence. that's meta, man.
posted by pokermonk 17 November | 23:05
I had an experience last night, the last night of my seminar, where for the first time all of us hung out, drank beer, and watched TV. 17 Americans, 2 Canadians. The last show on was "The Family Guy," and the two Canadians watched with us in nervous shock. They hadn't seen this before, and it struck them as unimaginably crass and depraved. At the end, one of them said "I think maybe your country is hopeless."

I happen to agree with them, but I could see by the loud enjoyment of everyone else in the room that I was in the minority. I don't get it.
posted by Miko 17 November | 23:22
'cause I was in American and Canadian hotels this past week, and I took the rare opportunity to channel surf: I have no television at all at home.

I was shocked by the amount of violence I saw on night/late night 40-odd hotel channels; and even the morning line-up contained a lot of violence, including what appeared to be a 24-hour horrifyingly violent videos.

Vancouver, BC, seemed to contain less violence and more theatrical than the USA. And come to think of it, I'm quite surprised neither had anything 24-7 religion, at least not visible to a rapid surfer.
posted by Five Fresh Fish 18 November | 00:30
Also, as always, I am simply stunned by the amount of vapid programming and the utter crassness of television commercials. What the fuck are we teaching our collective society? It is to despair.
posted by Five Fresh Fish 18 November | 00:34
The Family Guy? That cartoon? That's the show that tipped them over the edge?

I can't really weigh in much, as we have about 10 channels, and about seven of them at any given time will be some combination of news/talk format, which kind of counts for violence 24/7 since they are always yelling and talking over each other at the same time. :)
posted by taz 18 November | 00:38
0 for 29, but it's Sunday morning.

(London, weak digital signal.)
posted by TheophileEscargot 18 November | 05:50
needs more pr0n
posted by pieisexactlythree 18 November | 18:46
4:54 p.m. in BC, Canada: eight channels (three football, one wrestling, one rodeo, one car race and two movies) out of 70 showed violence or potential violence.


I find Family Guy hilarious. /shrug

FFF: Weekday mornings have three or four channels running religious programs. They're all cable channels except Global which really irks me. A "network" channel should not have religious programs in its lineup. But maybe that's the "American" in me. Anyway, none of the channels I receive (local and basic cable) have 24 hour religious programming.
posted by deborah 18 November | 19:58
Oh, and there was pr0n (or potential pr0n) on Showcase last night, pie. Two teams were re-filming Debbie Does Dallas. The "behind the scenes" stuff in making a pr0n moving were interesting.
posted by deborah 18 November | 20:00
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