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Standards & Practices

Standards & Practices

In the United States, Standards and Practices (also referred to as Broadcast Standards and Practices or BS&P) is the name traditionally given to the department at a television network which is responsible for the "moral", ethical, and legal implications of the program that network airs—in the vernacular, "the censors". They also ensure fairness on television game shows, acting as an adjunct to the judges at the production company level.

Incidents

* Episode 97 of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)" has yet to be shown in the United States due to pressures from Fox Broadcast & Standards (although 4Kids Entertainment leased the time from the network and for their 4Kids TV block and aired the series, it still had to meet Fox's broadcast standards). On the official TMNT website Lloyd Goldfine states:

cquote|The final edited and mixed version of the notorious 'Insane in the Membrane' was deemed unsuitable for air by Fox Broadcast Standards and Practices. Apparently, in between the time the episode was written, storyboarded, animated and edited (all stages approved by Fox BS&P), and the time the show was mixed for air, there was a change of personnel in the Fox BS&P offices, and no one involved in the original approvals was still employed at Fox. Upon seeing the episode, they were said to be 'horrified' and that there was no way they could air the episode. I'm not sure I disagree with them—had there been BS&P comments earlier in the process, we certainly would have handled the show differently. But as it was approved at every stage, we went full steam ahead. In the end, I was told it was bad judgment on my part... so there you have it.

I believe this episode will eventually be available, but plans have not been finalized. [http://www.ninjaturtles.com/cartoon/2005/synopses/97.html Official episode summary for TMNT episode 97] , accessed August 12, 2006 ]

* The final three episodes of the first season of "Moral Orel" were held back for various amounts of time by Standards and Practices, the episode entitled "God's Chef" being delayed for months before the Adult Swim network was able to show it.

* was very heavily influenced by BS&P. Unlike the comic book, characters were rarely ever in any danger and characters almost never hit each other directly. A few excerpts from BS&P on the show:

cquote| Page 4: It will not be acceptable for Mojo to call anyone 'numb nuts.' Also, he should not pick Spiral up by the head.

Page 11: Please substitute for Longshot's two uses of the word 'killed.' Something like 'destroyed' or 'take their lives' would be acceptable.

Page 23: It will not be acceptable for Jubilee to blast January in the face. Please revise.

Page 25: Please substitute for the boulder Rogue hurls at the two hunters, since this would injure them severely. Please incapacitate them with something less harmful.

Page 29: Caution that Slagg not backhand Wolverine in the face.

Page 32: Please show that the bounty hunters are alive after the facade falls on them. [http://members.aol.com/melchwerx/xtaseps.html Select X-Men (TV series) Scripts with BS&P notes] , accessed August 15, 2006 ]

* Game shows are often involved in Standards and Practices violations over irregularities over game play.
** On "The Price Is Right", contestants who have lost games because of procedural irregularities have been awarded a technical win by officials.
*** Early in Season 1, Clock Game contestants were awarded both prizes after the clock ran out after 22 seconds. The clock is supposed to last 30 seconds.
*** Contestants on the episode slated for September 6, 1972 that did not air because one of the contestants was ineligible (common-law wife of a cameraman) were awarded prizes even though their show did not air.
*** Twice in Season 36, contestants have had the jukebox in Race Game display the wrong number after they pulled on the lever to reveal the number of correct prices. Contestants were awarded all four prizes.
***During a playing of Bonkers, the light sequence during the introduction of the game did not stop during game play in an April 2008-taped show. The contestant was awarded the prize because the contestant could have been confused.
*** In a playing of Plinko taped July 22, 2008, a prop official forgot to remove fishing line used in the filming of a previous promotion for the official video game (so the chip will only fall on the $10,000 slot) before having it readied for game play. A contestant won $30,000 before the mistake was discovered by co-producer Adam Sandler (not to be confused with the actor). The game was repaired by having the lines removed, and the contestant started at $0. The contestant was allowed to keep the $30,000 because of the violation of procedure, plus the money won during the actual game.
** On most game shows, if an irregularity occurs during a game, and the contestant lost the game, contestants' eligibility will not be removed, and they are permitted to try out for the game again at a later date.
*** In 1999, a contestant who lost on a Jeopardy! Teen Tournament game on a questionable ruling was ordered brought back for a 2000 College Championship.
*** A January 30, 2008 episode of Jeopardy! resulted in Arianna Kelly (whose sister Larissa later appeared on the show, and whose brother-in-law Jeff Hoppes had lost to Ken Jennings in 2004) being brought back on an episode July 8, 2008 when officials found questionable calls during game play against her during that episode.

Parodies

Many television programs (especially cartoons) have parodied the existence of Standards and Practices departments.

*One episode of the "Beetlejuice" cartoon featured the cast being harassed by Goody Two-Shoes, a fairy godmother-like media watchdog from the "Bureau of Sweetness and Prissiness" (BS&P, a knock at ABC's Broadcast Standards and Practices) who wanted them to clean up their act. The end of the episode also brings attention the show's own censoring, as Beetlejuice's complains about the camera always cutting away to a disgusted character's reaction of him whenever he eats bugs. A later episode also referenced this practice, where Beetlejuice is forced by Lydia to discourage a young boy from acting like him.

*The television show "ReBoot" also featured several jabs at ABC's Broadcast Standards & Practices department. In "The Quick & The Fed", Bob uses a command called "BS&P" to teleport through a window (according to the producers, Standards had nixed the idea of Bob breaking the window with a rock). "In the Belly of the Beast" featured Enzo firing a gun with the words "BS&P approved" on it that shoots rubber life rafts. "Talent Night" featured a "prog censor" named Emma Fee who kept complaining about objectionable content in the acts Dot wanted, and a group called "The Small Town Binomes" singing a song called "BS'n'P".

*In the "Ed, Edd n Eddy" episode "Ed Overboard", Eddy is sworn in as a temporary member of Rolf's "Urban Rangers", and quips "I'd swear, but Standards won't let me."

*In one episode of the anime "Fushigi Yūgi", part of a test to see if main character Miaka is worthy of receiving a magical artifact requires her to take her clothes off. She strips down to a one-piece undergarment, and explains she cannot take it off because "This is the limit of what the broadcast code allows."

*In the Adult Swim series "Aqua Teen Hunger Force", during the episode "Gee Whiz", the show makes reference to CN's Standards & Practices department, referring to it as "A vital link in keeping good and funny ideas away from you, the television viewer." It then demonstrates its purpose with a series of otherwise offensive material and places it into context against humorously inoffensive material (for example, showing a nun being decapitated with blood gushing out as unacceptable, but that same nun being decapitated with a rainbow coming out as acceptable). They are also not allowed say Jesus, but are to use "Gee Whiz" instead.

* In the "South Park" episode "It Hits the Fan", the frozen knights enlisted to prevent the uttering of the "words of Curse" are called the Knights of Standards and Practices.

* In "Sealab 2021", one fourth-wall breaking episode has the characters all engaging in incredibly dangerous or deplorable activities. In one scene, a character flashes a series of helicopters, causing another helicopter to appear, claiming that it is from Turner Standards and Practices. It tells her to "put your breasts back in your shirt, you dirty whore!" even though her breasts are blurred out.

* On Adult Swim, one bump calls Standards and Practices "where funny goes to die".

* In "", when the alien is cutting the web off Mindy, she says, "Hey, Hey!" "Are you nuts?" and the alien stands there and Mindy says "Duh! Standards and Practices."

* In the "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" episode "Trick or Treat", Kimberly and Skull compete on a fictional game show entitled "Trick or Treat", where Bulk helps Skull win by cheating. Later, at the end, when they are seen riding in the game show's prize, a "brand-new car", a representative from network standards and practices comes along to report that they reviewed their episode of "Trick or Treat" and discovered that Bulk and Skull were cheating and takes the car back to the network station rather than rewarding the car to Kimberly.

* In the animated TV series Histeria, Lydia Karaoke was the WB appointed censor, who would regularly interrupt the sketches.

*In the Thanksgiving episode of Animaniacs Miles Standish asked the Warners to give him the bird (refering to their pet turkey) and Yakko responds "we'd love to really but the Fox Censors won't allow us" refering to the slang term "giving the bird" with means giving someone the middle finger.

Notes and references

External links

* [http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/S/htmlS/standardsand/standardsand.htm Standards and Practices] , The Museum of Broadcast Communications
* [http://www.animationnation.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=004485;p= BS&P notes received by various animators]
* [http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/brandnewday/archives/2005/02/are_fox_and_the.html Are Fox and The NFL Kidding? Apparently Standards and Practices Are... Fluid.]
* [http://www.cartoonbrew.com/old-brew/why-modern-cartoons-suck-reason-492 Why Modern Cartoons Suck - Reason #492]
* [http://www.animationnation.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=009052 more BS&P anecdotes]
* [http://looney.goldenagecartoons.com/ltcuts/ The CENSORED CARTOONS Page]


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