Networks adjust programming in wake of Newtown shooting

TLC has delayed show "Best Funeral Ever" and the "Django Unchained" premiere has been canceled in response

Topics: Newtown school shooting, Television, Hollywood, Celebrity, Gun Control,

As Americans continue to grieve over Friday’s elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Hollywood is responding by censoring violent or disturbing content from network programming this week. This weekend, Fox pulled new episodes of “American Dad” and “Family Guy,” opting instead for reruns. Syfy pulled a new episode of “Haven,” which centered on “violence at a high school.” ABC temporarily removed an epsiode of “Scandal” from its website, in which a family of four were murdered. TLC has delayed the premiere of “Best Funeral Ever,” a reality TV pilot episode about unique funerals (the show will air, instead, on Sun. Jan 6).

Other shows, like last night’s “Conan” and the weekend’s “Homeland” paid respect to the victims by addressing the nation in the form of a monologue or a disclaimer–or, in the case of “Saturday Night Live,” opening a children’s choir singing “Silent Night.”

Four movie premieres have also been canceled or delayed, the latest being Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” originally scheduled for tonight. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the tragedy in Newtown, CT, and in this time of national mourning we have decided to forgo our scheduled event,” a spokesperson for the Weinstein Co. said in a statement.

As Time notes, this is the second time this year that Hollywood has made swift changes in response to a national tragedy; after the shootings in Aurora, Colo., Warner Bros. pulled the trailer for “Gangster Squad” from previews for “The Dark Knight Rises” and cut a particularly violent scene from the upcoming movie as well. And, although the network response so far has not lead to any permanent programming changes, celebrities are becoming more vocal about gun culture and the entertainment industry’s role in promoting violence. In an interview on Saturday, “Django Unchained” star Jamie Foxx said, “We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn’t have a sort of influence. It does.”


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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