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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?

 

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Leila September 9, 2009 at 10:41 pm

I thought Swingtown was highly entertaining, well written and well acted, so it’s a shame that it was cancelled. We had looked forward to a new season. I can’t believe that the content would be any more objectionable than all the violence we typically see (during primetime) or the late night sex romp shows that seem to have saturated TV as of late which are allowed to air. Many serious issues and moral dilemmas were addressed in ways that made the characters very human. It’s just a pity that great television often doesn’t survive. Those morality types should just mind their own business – adult audiences should be able to watch whatever they wish. It’s too bad that HBO or Showcase didn’t see it’s potential and try to resurrect it.

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Jeane May 24, 2009 at 10:49 pm

The adults in our family LOVE swingtown!! We also loved Moonlight….damn hard to see so many good shows getting trashed.

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Cat May 24, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Hey PTC,
WAKE UP! Your children are watching Family Guy! You need to check THAT out! That is a SICK, SICK show – no child should be watching it. It makes Swingtown look like The Sound of Music! Why not monitor what YOUR children are actually watching???
I don’t even think they would be interested in Swingtown. Get a CLUE, will you!!!!!

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3freqs May 18, 2009 at 8:29 pm

As is typical, the “moral majority”, wich is actuay the delusional minority, takes credit for saving us from ourselves. The interesting part about the swings scene, and we speak from expereince, is that people in the lifestyle are more stable on average than the typical family these days. We stay together longer, have better communication between each other and our freinds, and are overall just more genuine & honest people. The so called moral majority dont have the mentality required to understand that, and the truth is they never will. To them it’s better to lie, cheat, and get diviorced than to open up a bit, play together, and stay together.
All that aside, Swingtown was well written, and oddly enough was eye opening with it’s look into what kinds of isues face people in the lifestyle. If people dont like what they see, they can change the channel. If they dont wan thier kids to see it, they can block it or pettition it to come on later at night.

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katnmouse May 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Wow – we are almost half way through 2009 and some folks still can’t figure out how to tell their kids no? Adults should be able to watch whatever they want to watch. If the sponsors were that worried about the moral majority why wouldn’t they just sell it to HBO/SHOWTIME where things like OZ, L WORD,TrueBlood and Weeds are on? BRING BACK SWINGTOWN – BRING BACK SWINGTOWN! i LOVE THIS SHOW!

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Kim May 17, 2009 at 9:56 am

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and if yours opposes swingtown then simply don’t watch it. I hate to see the show end i was actually looking forward to the summer to get another dose. I so much wanted to see how Trina handles motherhood and if things woud go on as usual. I hope that CBS or Bravo give it another shot. It they can bring back Jerico than why not Swingtown. As far as the PTC young children should not be watching tv that late in my opinion. I voteBRING IT BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

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cathy May 12, 2009 at 5:59 pm

I loved this show and hope it is going to be rescued. As far as the watchdogs,,, don’t watch it. I despise people telling me what I can and can’t do.

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Ana May 12, 2009 at 1:31 am

I´m Portuguese…and started to see the show a few weeks ago on cable..and i´m so sad that there is not going to be a 2nd season…WHY??!! It was really good…and getting more interesting…i don´t understand… =(

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Alexie May 2, 2009 at 2:16 am

I think that anyone who has a problem with a particular TV show shouldn’t be watching it in the first place and leave it to the rest of us to decide what sort of television programming is appropriate for us to view. I say down with the PTC. It’s not my problem if the parents in the country don’t know how to talk to their children about controversial subjects. It is my philosophy that we should be able to have open and honest relationships with one another, children included. If anything, the American public has a lot to learn from this show.

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Xcitementneeded April 14, 2009 at 8:31 am

My wife and I would watch it with several friends over wine. It was a great show.
My mom even started watching it.
Everyone i told about it got into the show.
This sucks!!!!! Bravo bought rights to the first season, any chance they’ll do the right thing by the fans. C’mon Bravo can you make a season 2 happen???????

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ADDICTED April 13, 2009 at 12:33 pm

BRING BACK SWINGTOWN.. if you didnt like THEN DONT WATCH IT!!! DARN how hard is that to understand.. DONT RUIN IT FOR THE REST OF US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Ellen April 7, 2009 at 7:05 pm

reality shows sucks!!!! Please bring back Swingtown PLEASE, give it an second season..

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Lisa March 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm

this was a great show for adults. To anyone who had a problem with this show, if you don’t like a show turn the channel you half-wit!

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GladToSeeItGo March 29, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Glad To See It Go…

Nothing else has to be said.

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Anonymous March 26, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I was very upset to hear the cancellation of Swingtown. I used to watch this show religiously. If I was not able to be home, I would DVR it and watch it the next day. I have all the episodes locked on my DVR too. My husband didn’t understand the show at first but then got into it also. I was heartbroken to find out that it was cancelled. They NEED to bring it back. Once in a class a male student was going on about how wrong the show was as it portrays wife-swapping. I interjected my point of view to him by saying that he obviously only watched the previews or the first show. I think the show depicted a lot about real-life relationships. No, I am not a swinger nor do I want to be, but I am also not a prude. The religious zelots that go on and on about family values need to look into their own lives to find out why they feel the need to censor everyone else. I also HATE reality TV. It is not reality and there is more nonsense in those shows than was in Swingtown. The show was fun to watch. My husband also used to comment to me that he thought the show “inspired” me also. ;-) Hey, we all need a little inspiration in our lives once in awhile!!!

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