The Parents Television Council is warning the public and advertisers about ABC's new mini-series Of Kings and Prophets.
Although the series is adapted from stories in the first two chapters of the Old Testament Book of Samuel, the executive producer has compared the new series to HBO's Game of Thrones – which is known for extreme violence and sexual content.
"These stories [in Of Kings and Prophets] are violent and sex-drenched," added Chris Bracanto during the Television Critics Association's press tour in January. "We're going to go as far as we can ... we'll be fighting with broadcast standards and practices." The ABC series is scheduled to premiere on March 8.
Melissa Henson with the Parents Television Council has a simple, but urgent message for the public.
"Don't be deceived," says Henson. "This is not going to be something that's going to be honoring of the stories [in the Bible]; it's not going to be something that's honoring of people's beliefs and values. It is merely an excuse to saturate the broadcast airwaves with excessive sex and violence."
In an earlier interview, Henson accused the producers of making a conscious decision to air salacious content. "They're not being respectful to subject matter," she argued, "and they're not being respectful to viewers."
Bracanto, in contrast, said there was "no discussion about trying to add more sex or violence for the simple sake of doing so. We're trying to tell the story that is in 1 and 2 Samuel, which has plenty of sex and violence on its own."
Regardless, PTC has reached out to the nation's top 200 advertisers with a warning about their sponsorship of the mini-series could impact their image.
"[We have] warned them of what the content is going to be and [we've] warned them of the potential damage they could be doing to their brand identity, to their corporate image if they choose to support this kind of content," Henson explains. "Because we know that there's research that shows that advertising on programs ... saturated in sex and violence actually can hurt advertisers. It can damage their ability to sell their product."
She hopes advertisers will take heed of the notice.