CBS Television is dedicated to presenting viewers with program and nonprogram material of the highest caliber. Over the years, an integral part of this commitment has been the development of broadcast guidelines and standards that the Program Practices Department applies to both program and nonprogram material (the latter including commercials, public-service announcements and on-air promotions).
CBS program standards express important commitments and responsibilities to viewers in a manner that respects the creativity of the programs presented. The review process involves an interaction among producers, program executives and Program Practices executives, who ensure that CBS entertainment programs conform to generally accepted standards of public taste. As those standards evolve, CBS strives to be contemporary.
The extent and degree of Program Practices involvement in ongoing series, ranging from general consultation to close episode review and supervision, depend on the nature and subject matter of the series generally and of particular episodes.
CBS takes into account the suitability of material for the particular time period in which it is to be broadcast and the corresponding differences in audience composition and expectations. The Program Practices editors review material for excessive or gratuitous violence, sexuality, nudity and inappropriate language. They ensure that character portrayals are sensitive to current ethnic, religious, sexual and other significant social concerns. When controversial issues are addressed in entertainment programming, they review the material for balance and accuracy.
The Program Practices Department in Los Angeles is responsible for most entertainment-program content and determining parental information labels for those programs. In New York, the Department is similarly responsible for East Coast entertainment-program content and labeling and for sports programming, commercials and public-service announcements.