Show Tracker

What you're watching

« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

How many ladypart references can you slip into prime time?

March 21, 2012 |  2:09 pm

2 broke girls
There are a lot more “vaginas” and “penises” on network television these days. Not the body parts themselves, of course, but the words.

“2 Broke Girls” is doing its part to make that happen: characters on that CBS show uttered the word “vagina” more times in just nine recent episodes than anyone else on broadcast TV over an entire season a decade ago, according  to a new study from the conservative watchdog group Parents Television Council.

And “2 Broke Girls” wasn’t alone: NBC shows dropped 13 "vagina" references during the 2010-2011 season; ABC and Fox tied for second with nine references each.

Male anatomy also had plenty of time in the spotlight: the study notes that usage of the word "penis" has increased, too. It was used nearly four times more in a recent season than a decade before.

It’s not surprising that “2 Broke Girls” -- part of a fall wave of female-based comedies (including NBC’s "Whitney,” Fox’s “New Girl,” ABC’s forthcoming “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt. 23”) -- would use raunchier language. But most of the shows in the study caught dropping man and ladyparts were established series such as "Two and a Half Men," "American Dad," "The Office, "30 Rock,"  "Family Guy" and (how could it not with such a title?) "Grey's Anatomy."

“What people slightly older consider shocking is not shocking to young women,” says “Don’t Trust the B----” executive producer Nahnatchka Khan. “I can go online, I can go on YouTube, everything is discussed now.... You kind of want network TV included in that experience.”

The PTC's tally doesn’t include cable, where “penis” and “vagina” are just the beginning. Lena Dunham, creator of the forthcoming HBO show “Girls,” has said that being able to get graphic on cable was crucial to her. "Sexuality is such an integral part of my experience as a twentysomething woman that if I had to hide bodies, it would be challenging to tell this story."  


Parents Television Council study: TV's bodypart trend

Edgy women lead the fall TV lineup

HBO, you're busted

-- Joy Press

Photo: Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs in "2 Broke Girls." Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS