One Georgia-based NBC affiliate will not air the network’s July 24 half-hour
version of Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy after deeming the
show’s content "inappropriate" for its viewers.
WAGT in Augusta, Ga., will not air the show at its scheduled 9:30 p.m. slot,
opting instead to air its premiere episode several hours later, according to
station president and general manager John Mann.
NBC announced Friday that it would repurpose a 30-minute version of the
hour-long premiere episode of the Bravo series, in which five gay men give a
lifestyle makeover to a heterosexual male. The show will air after NBC’s
gay-themed sitcom, Will & Grace.
Bravo’s July 15 unedited airing of the show achieved a network-record 1.6
household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.
NBC made its edited
version of the show available to affiliates at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. After viewing
the tape, Mann said some of the show’s content was not suitable for primetime
viewing hours, although he did not provide specific instances. It’s also unclear
what the affiliate will air in place of Queer Eye.
"Ultimately, we’re the licensee of this TV station, and we have to program to
the local community standards," Mann said, adding that there were several scenes
within the show that were "gratuitous."
"We’re certainly willing to air the program, but we didn’t think it was
appropriate for 9:30 p.m.," he added.
Rick Lipps, GM of KWWL in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also expressed concern over a
couple of scenes within NBC’s 30-minute version of Queer Eye, but --
because of the short time in which to find a replacement show -- the station is
going ahead with the broadcast.
"There’s a couple of things they didn’t edit out that I had a problem with,"
But an NBC spokeswoman said just two of the affiliates have chosen to run it
in the evening, "so there’s no issues regarding the carriage of the show."
Indeed, other stations contacted by Multichannel News were committed
to air the show despite the possibility of viewer backlash.
"I’d rather get some viewers’ calls than apply censorship," KOAA in Pueblo,
Colo., GM David Whitaker said. "We certainly will evaluate the community’s
response to the show."
Evansville, Ind.-based WFIE-TV GM Lucy Himstedt said the network’s job isn’t
to censure programming -- even programming that could offend some of its
viewers. "In the end, viewers do have the option to watch something else," she
Bravo's July 22 airing of Queer Eye posted a 1.4 rating, down slightly
from the record-setting 1.6 mark a week earlier.