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Stations/Networks who withheld certain episodes from the runs

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MatthewA, May 24, 2015.

  1. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Inspired by the "episodes out of syndication" thread, I wonder how many of you remember times when a channel rerunning a show pulled episodes in order to censor them.


    The one I remember most clearly is the last show you'd expect to be censored because there is nothing to censor: Punky Brewster. When The Family Channel held the rerun rights in the mid-1990s and Pat Robertson's International Family Entertainment* still owned it, they refused to air at least three episodes: both parts of "The Perils of Punky," in which, among other things, Vincent Schiavelli(!) gets turned into a block of stone**; and "The Metamorphosis," in which Punky is going through puberty and Henry has to buy her a bra.***

    What other stations thought children needed to be protected from innocuous family fare aimed squarely at them?

    *Never forget that they were the ones to let the music rights lapse on WKRP in Cincinnati and all the other MTM Productions shows they owned.

    **This was right before they did an anti-drug episode, and the best part of that episode, Mike Fulton's James Brown impression, was cut from syndication! But at least they were consistent; they did another one where Henry was a pill-popper. Ah, the 1980s.

    ***This happened more than a year before the similarly-plotted Married … with Children episode that got Terry Rakolta's panties in a bunch. The advertiser boycott fizzled, and the show lived on for another eight seasons. And she got a fruit basket every year they were still on the air.
     
  2. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    The early Black & White episodes from "Upstairs Downstairs" are often skipped in re-runs, but that is because they are simply in B&W, not because of censorship.
     
  3. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    An episode of Bewitched entitled Samantha's Secret Is Discovered was removed from the syndication package due to it's use of hallucenogenic drugs. In the episode, Mrs Stevens catches Sam doing magic and Sam ends up giving her some type of mind altering pills to convince her she imagined the whole thing.
     
  4. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    IIRC, Nick at Nite didn't air The Facts of Life episodes about marijuana, suicide, and Natalie losing her virginity.
     
  5. Larry.P

    Larry.P Stunt Coordinator

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    PAX TV skipped the OJ Simpson episode of "Here's Lucy".
     
  6. Dave Lawrence

    Dave Lawrence Supporting Actor

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    The "Bored, She Hung Herself" episode from Hawaii Five-O's 2nd season wasn't in the syndication run and didn't even make it on to the DVDs (individual 2nd season release as well as complete series set release).
     
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  7. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    When I picked each season of Walker, Texas Ranger It seemed like every season of this show had one or two episodes that weren't shown on the Hallmark Channel, which ran reruns at 8:00PM (Not to mention they chopped off about five minutes of each show to cram in more commercials). :angry:


    I called these episodes "The Lost Episodes". :D
     
  8. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    I never noticed this. What is so controversial about this episode that it is so much worse than some of the other violent ones left in the package. And why would they omit it from the DVD's in today's day and age? It must be pretty bad. What's the premise?
     
  9. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    After the episode aired some idiot tried to imitate the stunt where a character literally hung himself, then pulled himself up. Unfortunately he couldn't get himself up and.....


    His next of kin sued CBS, and as part of the settlement it was decreed that this episode was never again to be aired, and it was also kept off the DVD Sets (SOMEBODY somehow managed to spirit a copy of this episode out of the CBS Studios), because "Alternative Releases" are quite plentiful. I've seen this episode myself, and the quality is rather poor (It looks like it was shot with a Super 8 Camera) and all I can say is "so this is what's causing all the fuss". Ever notice whenever something controversial happens whatever it is will get a boost in popularity, at least for a short time, because people want to see what's the matter with it? :huh:
     
  10. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    I've always read that the creators of the series voluntarily pulled the episode so the trick wouldn't be tried again by anyone else. This is the first I've heard of any legal action by anyone associated with the death of the viewer.
     
  11. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    After September 11th, TV Land immediately stopped showing all Barney Miller episodes with bombs or bomb threats as a plot point.
     
  12. rjd0309

    rjd0309 Second Unit

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    Yes, early in the episode, Don Quine's character is practicing some sort of weird yoga or something, hanging with a rope around his neck. (Reminds me of Our Man Flint, when Flint stops his heart. "He enjoys it. It relaxes him.") A teenage viewer tried the rope trick on himself, with unfortunate results.


    Not sure that anyone spirited a copy out of CBS. A friend of mine who collects old film prints has a 16mm print of this episode in her collection, so I assume that official prints were made at the time.
     
  13. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    USA aired them in the sporadic times during the five years they held the rights that they actually did show it. I also noticed lots of mutually exclusive cuts between the USA and [email protected] versions. When Hallmark Channel had the rights, they did something weird to it: they used the standard syndication/NBC daytime cuts but made the first scene of act 1 into a pre-credit teaser!
     
  14. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    They could have had a message scroll across the bottom of the screen and/or start the show with a disclaimer saying "Warning, the person doing this stunt is an expert, and we strongly advise viewers NOT TO TRY THIS YOURSELF!" :laugh:
     
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  15. youworkmen

    youworkmen Supporting Actor

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    Here in the UK we have had frequent occurrences of episodes skipped.

    In 1970 after the BBC got viewer complaints about the teatime screening of the Star Trek episode "Miri" the BBC began to vet them all.

    This resulted in numerous episodes getting the more violent moments edited out and it resulted in 3 episodes being completely banned which were Platos Stepchildren , Whom Gods Destroy and The Empath ( which was billed in the Radio Times to appear but was pulled before transmission). Miri was added to the list and none of these 4 appeared on the BBC until the early 90's. The cut versions of the rest of the series also remained the ones aired until the BBC got new versions around 1992.

    The banned 4 remained unseen on broadcast tv in the UK until around 1990 when Sky One premiered the banned 3 along with the first ever repeat of Miri - although all 4 got VHS releases in the early to mid 80's.


    And it was many years before the BBC finally dared to show the Star Trek TNG episode The High Ground due to its terrorist theme although Sky One did show it late at night.


    Many imported shows got messed around with. The BBC thought the first season X-File episode Fire was literally too hot for its regular slot so played it out of sequence late at night.


    An early drug themed episode of Starsky & Hutch was also missed out by the BBC along with a first season episode of Dallas.


    After every major news incident whether it be child abduction/murder or gun massacres all broadcasters pulled every tv show or movie connected in any way.

    UK knee jerk reaction nicely illustrated by some moron at the BBC who claimed after the 1987 Hungerford massacre that the Rambo films would never be shown on tv , due only to the fact that the UK tabloid press labelled the nutter who did the shooting as the Rambo killer despite investigation indicating the killer may never have seen the films let alone become obsessed with them as the papers liked us to think.


    One episode of Mork and Mindys first season was pulled by ITV on its initial screenings because the episode included a major character called Arnold Wanker. But in the late 80's C4 decided it was ok for teatime viewing.


    Incredibly , C4 banned one episode of Little House on the Prairie. Gambino the Great involved scenes of escapolgy the channel thought kids might try to imitate so the shows first ever networked screening in the UK was incomplete although I believe C4 relented and their later morning repeats did include it.


    The British tv history books are full of such nonsense
     
  16. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    Or one that said "Dear viewer, if you try this yourself, don't blame us because you're an idiot."
     
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  17. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    I don't know how fast the decision to suppress this episode happened, nor why do these "16mm Prints" are made in the first place. Were these things given to CBS Employees and such, or what? The copy I had came from an "Alternate Source" when I bought the complete series as a form of "Stall Insurance" (Six seasons had already been released at the time). Of course when the rest of the season was legitimately released, I got rid of the 'boots, EXCEPT the disks containing "Bored, She Hung Herself" and "Number One with a Bullet" episodes (Part Two of this episode is said to have music replacements). Instead these disks were spared.
     
  18. rjd0309

    rjd0309 Second Unit

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    Were networks still making 16mm syndication prints in 1970? If not for the States, then might 16mm prints have been struck for syndicating the show to some foreign countries?
     
  19. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    There was a Christian-owned independent station in Dallas, Texas in the '70s (KXTX) that heavily cut Star Trek reruns in the '70s and banned a few episodes outright. It got fans in an uproar and even got coverage in Starlog magazine at the time (issue #5).


    In England, the very last episode of Secret Army has never been aired and was also excluded from the DVDs. As per Richard Bignell: "the reason for this has been variously attributed to a strike (falsely suggesting that editing was never completed), the episode's anti-Communist message, or because it was significantly different in tone from the rest of the series [it was set 25 years after the liberation of Brussels and looked at how the characters fared after the war]."


    Speaking of England, the Frankie Howerd WWII-set comedy series Then Churchill Said to Me was withheld from broadcast by the BBC due to the Falklands conflict. It didn't premiere on television until UK Gold aired it in 1993.


    Then, there's Heil Honey, I'm Home, a 1990 sitcom centering on the domestic lives of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, who are alive and well and living next door to a Jewish couple that Adolf just can't get along with. Eight episodes were produced, but the series was cancelled after just one airing due to it being in very poor taste. It has never been seen since.
     
  20. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    This brings back memories of The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer. Another show cancelled due to very poor taste. Dreadful show.
     

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