FCC Proposes Fining ABC Stations $1.43 M For 'NYPD Blue' Episode

Profanity and pricey indecency fines are still top of mind at the Federal Communications Commission, as it proposed fining 52 ABC stations a whopping, collective $1.43 million for an "NYPD Blue" episode that aired in 2003.

It's the biggest fine since a half million fine was originally imposed by the FCC on CBS stations for the Janet Jackson breast-revealing incident during the 2004 Super Bowl.

The FCC didn't fine all the ABC Network's 200-plus stations, only 52 ABC outlets because those stations ran the egregious episode--one that showed a woman's nude buttocks--before 10 p.m. Those stations are in the Central and Mountain time zones.

The "NYPD Blue" scene involved the girlfriend of Detective Andy Sipowicz, played by Charlotte Ross--who drops her robe in the bathroom, revealing her backside. Sipowicz's young son then enters the bathroom, stares at her, and she then covers up.

Each of the stations will be fined $27,500 each for the episode which aired on Feb. 25, 2003.

An ABC statement responded: "When the brief scene in question was telecast almost five years ago, this critically acclaimed drama had been on the air for a decade and the realistic nature of its storylines was well known to the viewing public. ABC feels strongly that the FCC's finding is inconsistent with prior precedent from the Commission, the indecency statute and the First Amendment, and we intend to oppose the proposed fine."



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