Violent Sci Fi Show Requires Post-9:00 pm Time Slot & Viewer Advisories, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, January 31, 2017 — The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning TVA’s broadcast of the final episode of Le dôme on March 29, 2016 at 8:00 pm.  The episode of the science fiction program included numerous violent scenes, which the CBSC concluded should only have been broadcast after 9:00 pm with appropriate viewer advisories.

Le dôme is the French-language dubbed version of the series Under the Dome, based on a story by Stephen King.  The series finale contained scenes in which a man beats another man over the head with a metal ball, a man stabbing another man in the abdomen with a piece of metal rebar, and a scene of a man stabbing his own adult son to death.  TVA aired the episode at 8:00 pm with no viewer advisories.  It did provide a 13+ classification icon.

A viewer complained that this type of violence should not be aired before 9:00 pm. In TVA’s opinion, the violence was not sufficiently graphic to necessitate a late evening time slot, but it did agree that it should have aired viewer advisories.

The CBSC’s French-Language Panel examined the complaint under the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Violence Code.  The majority of the Panel found that the accumulation of graphic violence meant the program required a post-9:00 pm time slot.  TVA thus violated the scheduling clause of the code.  A minority of Panel Adjudicators dissented on this point.  They unanimously agreed, however, that viewer advisories were needed and that 13+ was an acceptable rating.

The CBSC was created in 1990 by Canada’s private broadcasters to administer the codes of standards that they established for their industry. The CBSC currently administers 7 codes which deal with ethics, equitable portrayal, violence, news and journalistic independence.  Around 800 radio stations, satellite radio services, television stations and specialty and pay television services across Canada participate in the Council.

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All CBSC decisions, Codes, links to members’ and other web sites, and related information are available on the CBSC’s website at . For more information, please contact the CBSC National Chair, Andrée Noël, at anoel@cbsc.ca or CBSC Executive Director, John MacNab, at jmacnab@cbsc.ca or by telephone at (613) 233-4607.