Due to the Federal Communications Commission's recent fines against CBS stations that aired an episode of "Without a Trace" that featured teenagers having sex, the premiere episode of "Bedford Diaries" has been censored without creator Tom Fontana's consent.
The New York Times recently reported that WB Network chairman Garth Ancier had asked creator Fontana to edit several scenes from the show. Fontana said he would not edit the scenes—one scene features two girls kissing while another shows a girl unbuttoning her jeans. "I told him I found the ruling incomprehensible," Fontana told the Times. "He said the censor would do the edit." Fontana, the New York daily said, accepted the decision, realizing the network had to act in a manner to avoid fines. However, Fontana admitted, "In more than 20 years in the business, this is the most chilling thing I've ever faced."
WB's Ancier issued this statement: "The WB takes its responsibility as a broadcast network very seriously and we have always been mindful of the F.C.C.'s indecency rules. While we believe that the previous uncut version of 'The Bedford Diaries' is in keeping with those rules, out of an abundance of caution, we decided to make some additional minor changes to the premiere episode of the series, which is set to debut next Wednesday, March . We also decided to make the original version available on the Internet at TheWB.com, which allows those interested in seeing the producer's creative vision to do so while at the same time recognizing the special rules that apply to the broadcast medium."
"The Bedford Diaries" cast features McDonald as well as Penn Badgley, Victoria Cartagena, Tiffany Dupont, Corri English, Milo Ventimiglia, Ernest Waddell, Peter Gerety and Matthew Modine. The pilot episode, which is titled "I'm Gonna Love College," was written by Fontana and Julie Martin and directed by Adam Bernstein.
The premiere episode, according to the WB website, is described thusly: "Professor Macklin (Modine) presides over a 'sex and the human condition' seminar at Bedford University in New York City. At the outset of the semester controversy rears its ugly head as it is unearthed that student government President Sarah (Dupont) had an affair with a professor, a fact that is about to be reported by the school newspaper, whose editor is Richard (Ventimiglia), a rich recovering alcoholic. Other students include Natalie (English), whose relationship with Richard caused her to attempt suicide the previous year. A further annoyance to Sarah is the fact that her younger brother, Owen (Badgley), is also in the sex seminar, in which intimate life details will be discussed." The uncensored version of "Bedford Diaries" is currently available for on-line viewing by visiting www.thewb.com.