For those who say network scheduling isn’t a big deal anymore thanks to DVRs, we turn your attention to what happened Thursday night on ABC.
In a jarring transition, the adorable end of the annual special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” segued into “Scandal,” which happened to kick off with a very steamy sex scene.
On Monday, the watchdog group Parents Television Council unleashed an angry statement at ABC condemning the abrupt shift in kid-centric programming to a very much not age-appropriate scene. After all, families are known to gather around the cartoon every year and may not have anticipated that they needed to quickly change the channel.
“Shame on ABC for putting a peep show next to a playground,” PTC President Tim Winter said. “In less than 26 seconds we were taken from the Peanuts pumpkin patch to a steamy ‘Scandal' sex scene.”
Sure enough, “Great Pumpkin” ended at about 8:59 p.m. with Sally angrily storming off screen. Seconds later, we see Olivia Pope having a very graphic dream, reminiscing about sleeping with President Fitz (along with the other guy in her love triangle, Jake). It’s all set to “Summer Breeze,” and there are glimpses of lots of bare skin.
“Unless parents had the remote control in their hand, thumb on the button and aimed directly at the TV screen, they didn’t have a chance,” Winter vented. “Such a transition is grossly irresponsible by the network and entirely unfair for parents. ABC owes families an apology.”
Some Twitter users also noticed the program switch but reacted more with amusement than with rage.
“The leap from Charlie Brown to the first scene of #Scandal#CloseYourEyesKiddies,” one user wrote. It was retweeted by “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes.
“Going from Charlie Brown to #Scandal. That’s a tough transition get your kids away from the TV fast,” one tweeted.
“The innocence of Charlie Brown followed by the naughty of #Scandal. Gotta love it :-)” another said.