On May 12 the American Civil Liberties Union filed two free-speech lawsuits in Scranton, Pennsylvania, defending citizens who were charged with using profanity by local police. Seven days later CBS announced its fall schedule, which includes the William Shatner sitcom $#*! My Dad Says, the first TV show to be based on a Twitter account, namely Justin Halpern’s Shit My Dad Says page. The watchdog group Parents Television Council, upset that the word “shit” is alluded to in the show’s title, has threatened to challenge the broadcast license of any CBS affiliate that airs the series — and promos for it — before 10 PM, even though the network has scheduled it for Thursdays at 8:30 this fall.

In the past year, feature films like Inglourious Basterds and programs like Oxygen’s Dance Your Ass Off have pushed the boundaries of acceptable language on theater marquees and in TV Guide. The cable channel FX has practically built its reputation on airing original shows such as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia that employ “shit,” “asshole,” and “goddamn” so often in their dialogue that it’s hard not to think FX bought the rights to the words and wants to make sure it gets its money’s worth.

For parents of young children it’s only going to get worse, unfortunately, but with a loosening of the language comes truth in advertising, as the networks and various cable outlets start declaring right up front what their new shows are all about. Below is a sampling of what you’ll be seeing in the coming months.

Fox: “So You Think You Can Sing and/or Dance? Well, Whoop-tee-fuckin’-doo!”

NBC: “The Fattest Fuck”

ABC: “25 Girls, a Guy, and Lots of Bitchy Behavior, All in the Pursuit of a Loveless Marriage Proposal”

CBS: “CSI: City of Angels … and Junkies … and Lots and Lots of Whores”

Fox News Channel: “Glenn Beck Presents: Opinion Shows Are Like Assholes — Everybody’s Got One!”

CNN: “Anderson Cooper and the Unbiased News Nobody Wants to Fucking Hear”

PBS: “The Many Tits of the Many Wives of King Henry VIII”

Trinity Broadcasting Network: “Goddamn, It’s Good to Be a Christian”

Weather Channel: “Mother Nature: A Bad Motherfucker”

Univision: “Dirty Sanchez & Rusty Trombone” (a Spanish-language crime drama about two cops who go undercover as male prostitutes)

The CW: “Yeah, We Know Our Ratings Are Worse than Univision’s, Cass! Stop Rubbing Our Noses in It, You Bald Cocksucker!”

Animal Planet: “Shitstorm in the Gulf: How BP Managed to Fuck the Earth’s Delicate Ecosystems With a Huge Fucking Donkey Dick”

Discovery Channel: “Volcanoes 2010: Commercial Flight’s Biggest Pain in the Ass”

ESPN: “Balls”

Food Network: “Nuts”

Golf Channel: “Holes”

Comedy Central: “Night of a Thousand Dick Jokes”

Spike TV: “Ultimate Pissing Contest”

HGTV: “Sprucing Up Your Shithole Apartment”

Syfy (formerly Sci-Fi Channel): “Ass-Backward Time Travelers”

Oxygen: “The Word ‘Vagina’ as a Punchline: The Vaudeville Years”

History Channel: “The Vietnam War: One Gigantic Clusterfuck”

BBC America: “Don’t Be Such an Arse, You Silly Cunt” (starring Dame Judi Dench)

A&E: “The Mentally Ill and the Batshit Insane Yet Highly Watchable Things They Do”

Nickelodeon: “Kids Say the Most Fucked-Up Bullshit”

Al Jazeera: “The Dick Cheney Being Ass Raped by Fiery Demons Smile-Time Variety Hour”

VH1: “Bitch, I Will Tear Out Yo’ Muthafuckin’ Weave If That’s What It Takes to Win the Heart of [Insert Washed-Up Celebrity’s Name]! Shiiiiiiiit …”

MTV: “Buncha Fuckin’ Douchebags Gettin’ Wasted and Yellin’ at Each Other in a Beach House”

TV Land: “Leave It to Beaver”

BET: “The N Word” (This is merely a promotional title. Only African-American journalists and bloggers have been granted access to use the show’s real name.)

Finally, Lifetime has a new tag line that should please viewers of both genders: “Programming for pussies.”

About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners and collaborated on the series 'Face Time with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

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