Swingtown: Watchdog Group Applauds TV Show Cancellation

SwingtownThough the CBS 1970’s series didn’t maintain a very large audience, the viewers Swingtown did attract are very devoted. Many people have expressed great disappointment over the cancellation of the series after only one short season of 13 episodes. One particular group of people however couldn’t be happier about Swingtown’s demise and wants to take credit for it.

Set in the Summer of 1976, Swingtown follows the changing lives of three families in suburban Chicago. The show stars Molly Parker, Jack Davenport, Grant Show, Lana Parrilla, Josh Hopkins, Miriam Shor, Shanna Collins, Aaron Christian Howles, Brittany Robertson, Michael Rady, Nick Benson, and Kate Norby.

Critical and viewer reception for Swingtown was mixed and the pilot debuted to fewer than 8.6 million viewers and a 2.5/7 rating/share in the 18-49 demographic. The ratings for subsequent episodes dropped from there and CBS eventually shifted the series to a little-watched Saturday night timeslot.

Is PTC responsible for Swingtown's cancellation?

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Though the ratings were too low for a network program, CBS tried in vain to find another outlet for the drama. Though the show’s fate was considered a done deal months earlier, CBS president Nina Tassler confirmed Swingtown’s cancellation last month. She is proud of the series and blames it’s failure in part to last year’s writers strike.

Soonafter Tassler made that announcement, the Parents Television Council (PTC) issued a statement applauding the show’s demise. The organization also claims that the show failed because the PTC and its members contacted Swingtown advertisers and urged them to pull their sponsorships.

In a written statement, PTC President Tim Winter said, “On behalf of the nation’s children and families, the PTC applauds and celebrates the removal of Swingtown from the public airwaves. But let’s be clear about why the program was pulled from the schedule: It had nothing to do with the writer’s strike and everything to do with the program’s lack of sponsors. CBS’ claim that Swingtown was a victim of the strike is nothing but PR spin to conceal what really happened.”

What do you think? Is the PTC overestimating their influence or are their actions responsible for Swingtown’s demise?

Canceled and renewed TV show

33 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Upset in Illinois says

    I am upset. I hadn’t heard that it was cancelled until I searched for it on the internet. This was a good show for Adults.
    Kids shouldn’t be allowed to watch whatever they want, so parents should not allow this.

  2. annon says

    I am very upset that this show got cancelled. It was nice having a show that was just different out there for adults. It was funny and I am truly sad to see it go. What is worse is this is why I don’t watch tv….everytime you get into a show it ends up being canceled. Maybe they should have thought about removing it to a different night to see if resutls would change.

  3. Teresa says

    I really get mad when people choose what I should watch . Aren’t we all adults and if your children are watching the show then maybe you need to keep a better eye on them . Stop ruining it for us fans and start worrying about your own problems.

  4. Miss Thang says

    Well, I still miss Swingtown. I wouldn’t even mind if they reran the episodes from the first season. However, what I DO MIND is a bunch of “holier than thou” types trying to ruin good stuff for the rest of us. I am not a Swinger, nor do I intend to be one but Swingtown had great acting, great sets, great music and and an excellent plot!!! They just left the fans hangin…R.I.P. Swingtown!!!!!

  5. johnny rotten says

    what a shame i really liked this show. growing up in this time period i found it interesting. what are we going to be forced to watch now “survivor dances with b list former celebs bullshit”? to bad i thought janet was gonna get nailed by airline pilot

  6. says

    My wife and I watched the entire series…
    Swingtown did a great job depicting a part of an era that took place during the 70’s..
    I think it is unfortunate that it was cancelled..
    Great Acting by Molly Parker, and Jack Davenport. Swingtown touched on many differing views of love and marriage, and young love. It evoked many thoughts on the many different levels of Love Contracts… Too Bad it is gone, maybe BBC could pick it up, & do Season #2

  7. Marcia M says

    I could care less whether the PTC “aided” in the demise of the show. They do some great work yes–advocating for families and children. However, Swingtown was a show geared towards adults–in a time slot when most children should have been in bed anyway. We all have our preferences–I do not care for South Park–and it thrives–as does the Simpsons. I make a choice each week–if I do not care for the content of a televised program–I use my remote and let my fingers do the talking.
    Swingtown was a show I happened to enjoy watching.

  8. says

    Funny, but “fundamentalism” is not a requirement for the PTC at all. While some Protestant church goers may represent a large majority of the membership, it stretches across all society boundaries. And they are better organized than the arm-chair remote control warrior who is just looking for a down-blouse or nip slip on regular free TV. There is a good reply on the FAQ on the parentstv.org website that addresses a lot of items. I guess if you are not a parent, or not a parent who cares or who is worried about their kids’ education from free TV, then you won’t like any influence at all. I kind of doubt that they were the sole influence to get rid of this show, but when so many companies are laying off, any impact to the bottom line takes notice. If you can get your fellow couch potatoes to buy more from the advertisers, I’m sure that PTC with 1 million members won’t have much influence anymore. Otherwise, that’s 1 million other people who disagree with your choices.

  9. joe says

    When a group of ridiculous fundamentalists like PTC can take over TV shows,it is the end of the freedom in USA.
    Don’t like it?Turn off the TV.
    These guys want to control and tell what people must do and watch.
    This must stop!

  10. R. Rodriguez says

    Well you know, I’m 20 years old, and found that show absolutely DISGUSTING!! Things like cheating and casual sex are treated too lightly in society and that’s how some people get hurt. Cheating is also a huge fear for some people.

    My entire family found it sick. Including my parents, and my 35 and 39 year old sisters. And it was not just because of the kids. Trust me. And trust me I’m not a prude like some people would think, I just believe that it should stay the way it was meant to, and that shows like that promote things that shouldn’t be promoted. When it shouldn’t ever be.

  11. says

    You don’t know much about the PTC. They fight violence at least as much as they fight sex on television. They just have a harder time keeping it off the air, so you will hear more about the sex being removed than the violence.

    The problem is that prime time is progressively become more sexualized and violent. It creeps ever so closer to earlier hours of prime time, I won’t insult you by pointing out particular shows, but you know that these shows are air during the early hours.

    I marked “Maybe” on the poll, because I think that America doesn’t want this crap on the air, and the PTC isn’t big enough to take full claim of the cancellation. Yes, they might have been a major player, but Americans are the better group to thank for this failure, not simply the PTC.

    All involved in canceling this show deserve a pat on the back.

  12. sick of idiots says

    At this rate all we’ll have to watch is Sesame Street. Oh but wait, Oscar’s grumpiness might offend the PTC too…

  13. outraged says

    How about you get your kids to bed at a decent hour like a good parent and then they won’t be subjected to adult material. Some of us parents would like a show of our own.

  14. Anonymous says

    I am outraged! Why doesn’t the PTC do anything about all of the grisly crime shows where people are brutally murdered, kidnapped, and tortured? And next, nobody is forcing you to watch this show. If you’re worried about your kids seeing it, block that channel in their room or keep the TV out in an area where you can monitor what they watch. I for one will miss the show and I know all of the other fans will.

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