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New ABC Show Prompts Nationwide Protests

August 29, 1993 GMT

Undated (AP) _ ABC’s plan to air a new police drama this fall is drawing protests from a Mississippi-based family values group that claims the show has pornographic content.

″NYPD Blue,″ produced by Steven Bochco, has been described as an ″adult police drama″ along the lines of ″Hill Street Blues,″ the award-winning series also produced by Bochco.

ABC, in a recent news release, said ″NYPD Blue,″ which premiers Sept. 21 at 10 p.m. EDT, is ″a gritty, realistic police drama set in New York City.″

But the American Family Association, based in Tupelo, Miss., disagrees with the show’s content. The group said its chapters in 100 cities would picket ABC affiliates on Monday.

″Americans don’t want NYPD Blue’s softcore pornography piped into their living rooms,″ said Donald E. Wildmon, the association’s president. ″I think this is the program where the American public says enough is enough.″

Richard Manship, the head of ABC affiliate WBRZ in Baton Rouge, La., said the new show is no more graphic than soap operas and is considerably milder than programming on MTV, the music video channel.

″There isn’t frontal nudity on the soaps,″ countered the Rev. Bill Shanks, one of the leaders of a planned demonstration outside WVUE, an ABC affiliate in New Orleans. ″There is also too many filthy four-letter words.

″This is just the next step to bringing R-rated movies to television,″ Shanks said. ″To have this on network TV, with young teens watching, is detrimental to our community.″

Greg Buisson, a WVUE spokesman, said Sunday that the station plans to air the first episode. ″Then we’ll make some decisions on the future of us running it,″ he said.

Manship said some ABC stations have decided not to air the program.

Telephone calls seeking comment on the protests from the ABC network were not immediately returned.