The Federal Communications Commission on Friday levied a $1.4 million fine against 52 ABC stations, stemming from a 2003 broadcast of
NYPD Blue. The episode in question showed
Charlotte Ross' Det. Connie McDowell startled by a young boy as she was about to take a shower, and in doing so showed "multiple, close-up views" of Ross' "nude buttocks," the FCC says. (
A clip of the scene (warning: nudity) can be found here; megaprops to reader
obriensg1 for finding it.) The ABC affiliates targeted by the fine broadcast in the Central and Mountain time zones, and thus aired the episode before the 10 o'clock hour.
ABC - which unsuccessfully argued against the FCC's contention that buttocks are a "sexual organ" - has responded to the ruling by noting that NYPD Blue came with parental warnings, was V-chip-enabled, and because it had been on the air for a decade at the time, "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," says the network in a statement, "and we intend to oppose the proposed fine."
What's your take? Too much ado about a derriere? Vote here. On a side note, the kid's ears are too big. - Matt Mitovich
New poll: Is a backside a "sexual organ"? Vote here.