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Bowdlerise / Live-Action TV

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  • The already controversial Netflix original 13 Reasons Why received this over two years after its initial release: the first season finale, "Tape 7, Side A", originally depicted (in full) Hannah's suicide by slitting her wrists in the bathtub. The first season dropped in March 2017; in August 2019 (just before the third season's release), the scene was removed, leaving Hannah's parents finding her intact. The edit doesn't affect the overall emotional tone.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • UK showings on Channel 4 are infamous among the show's fans for "getting the scissors out" for some of the gorier scenes, leaving a lot of character deaths implied where in the original cut they were made quite explicit. The most commonly cited example is in the first season finale, when the newly superhuman Garrett ends an argument by ripping out his opponent's rib with his bare hands and stabbing it through his eye - the version shown in the UK ends the scene just as Garrett reaches for the man instead. Partly a result of the What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids? reactions garnered by the show's first season, and not entirely without justification since it was still being shown at the family-friendly time of 7p.m. despite the Darker and Edgier ReTool the show received halfway through Season 1. However, Season 2 was moved to a later time slot and more decidedly marketed at an older audience, and yet if anything the content editing for violent scenes has become even more extensive since then, even though it makes it harder to understand the plot sometimes, what with Season 2 taking place during a war and all.
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    • Weirdly, this isn't just a Channel 4 thing: UK versions of Marvel Cinematic Universe shows and movies tend to fall victim to this trope more often than most franchises, regardless of who's showing them. For example, UK cinematic showings of The Avengers altered the shot which explicitly shows Coulson with Loki's blade piercing his chest - which, ironically, became an important plot point in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when the show began eighteen months later, and put a number of UK viewers on the wrong track for Coulson's resurrection mystery in the show. (Many believed that he'd never really died at all, due to seeing a less conclusive version of his death scene.)
  • When Alias made its debut on Channel 4 in the UK, it was shown on Saturday afternoons at 5:30 with the pilot in an hour-long slot; this likely tipped off fans that something was up, as the pilot lasts 70 minutes without commercials (admittedly there is an edited version for syndication in a standard hour-long length, but the series is still not designed for teatime viewing with the family). Indeed, the series did have to be cut for the slot, and was let go by the channel.
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  • Angel is severely cut by Channel 4 in the UK for its screenings at 6pm in the first season (one episode began at 6pm and ended at around quarter to seven. And it ran with commercial breaks).
  • The A.N.T. Farm episode "The informANT" received controversy over several scenes of a police officer beating supposed criminals without rest, which some viewed as promoting police brutality. Disney later released an edited version of the episode on Disney Channel reruns, where a couple of the scenes were removed. In one notable change, the original episode had the officer beat a person brutally just for double parking. The edited episode has the beating toned down, the line shortened to where the mention of double parking is omitted, and the scene being superimposed by a deleted scene where a puzzled Darryl Parks listens to the commotion.
  • In most foreign airings of Season 4 of The Amazing Race, there is no mention of Reichen & Chip being in a relationship, and their kiss at the Finish Line was edited out.
  • When WBNX-TV in Akron, Ohio (owned by Fundamentalist preacher Ernest Angely at the time) aired Barnaby Jones, they bleeped out a word in the episode "The Mercenaries". In one scene, a drill Sergeant for the paramilitary group yells at J.R., "Jones! Get your butt over here!". The word 'butt' is bleeped out.
  • When the Disney Channel aired reruns of Boy Meets World several episodes in seasons 5-7 had to be edited because at that point the show wasn't really a kids show anymore and had more mature themes and suggestive content. Many sex references and instances of swearing were removed and at least three episodes were not shown at all due to their content, one that dealt with teen drinking and two that featured sexual situations and dialogue.
  • Spoofed on an episode of The Brady Bunch, of all things. Mike and Carol are trying to convince Bobby that Jesse James was a criminal and not a hero, so they let him watch a movie about Jesse James that's airing on television, hoping that the movie's violence will scare Bobby into seeing Jesse James for the ruthless criminal he actually was. However, said movie is bowdlerised to the point that it cuts out the violence completely, making Jesse James seem more like a roguish hero of sorts. As a result, Bobby becomes even more enamored with the outlaw, and Mike and Carol are not happy.
  • The aired live versions of Breaking Bad were hilariously bowdlerized. One particular example is badass hiding in plain sight from the DEA, Mike Ermentrout, is looking after his beloved granddaughter at the park. He leaves a note by where he was sitting and walks away. The DEA run over and pick up the note (thinking it's drug related communications). The note reads "Fuck you." Except AMC doesn't allow nudity or swearing on their channel, so it reads "F**k you", with a painfully obvious blur bar over the offending word.
  • The UK version of Syfy airs daytime repeats of Buffy and Angel, both of which have large portions of violence removed. The censors seem to take particular offense to violence against women and anything that could be construed as an "imitable, dangerous action or stunt," which when it comes to Buffy is less than rational.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • On BBC Two in the United Kingdom, "The Weight of the World" is screened without the part where Buffy smothers Dawn with a pillow, even in its post-watershed slot. So when Buffy goes into a catatonic state and admits to Willow that she 'killed Dawn', even if it was just in her thoughts, it makes hardly any sense at all.
    • BBC Two also get the scissors out for the Slayer in its 6:45pm slot, not always because of violence (in "Hush", Buffy, Spike and Anya all had various hand gestures they made removed, which meant the opening titles of those episodes that included Spike's were also cut; language also fell victim, such as Spike's response to Buffy's query "What are you doing here? Five words or less" in "No Place Like Home"note ) - but they also have late night repeats, which are uncut. When it was airing the show, Sky One also cut episodes in daytime slots for similar reasons.
  • Cold Case airings on ION Television have edited out several words heard on the original CBS airing, such as "bitch", "bastard", "spic"note , "polack"note , and the ever-popular homophobic slurs "fag" and "faggot", even though the last two words were thrown around endlessly in the season one episode "A Time Of Hate".
    • Also, the season one episode "The Letter" note  has the actual murder scene changed from its original 2004 airing after complaints were made about it. However, the brutal murder scene from season two episode "Strange Fruit" note  was not edited. Similarly, in the season five episode "Family 8108", the anti-Asian slurs "gook", "Jap" and "Tojo" are left intact.
  • In Constantine, adaptation of Hellblazer, the character's chain-smoking habits were removed for this reasons. Which is a rather strange decision, considering the show is set to feature demons, torture, murder, and moral ambiguity galore.
  • Reruns of fellow CBS series Criminal Minds on A&E similarly censors mid-tier language like like "bitch" and "bastard"—the major problem is that this is a cable rerun of a series that was aired on broadcast television with such language intact, and there's worse things going on in this series from a thematic standpoint that aren't censored.
  • Detectives of Seonam Girls' High School contained the first lesbian kiss in a Korean Drama. The scene has been cut on Netflix.
  • Chinese reality show Divas Hit The Road censored an actress's headscarf due to its alleged association with "extreme religion," covering her head with cartoon graphics and in some scenes covering her entire body with a cartoon cactus.
  • Doctor Who:
    • For some reason that only BBC America would know, every airing of "The Eleventh Hour" on said channel cuts the changing room scene. The only thing even close to nudity is Matt Smith shirtless from the shoulders up, followed by a slightly suggestive reaction by Amy. This leaves audiences confused as to where he got his tweed coat, shirt and bow tie from.
    • Proof that Tropes Are Not Bad: For their broadcast on the ABC in Australia, episodes had scenes deemed too scary or violent cut. The Australian National Archive had kept the censored clips as proof that they had been removed. Because of this, many of these clips are the only footage of some of the show's various Missing Episodes (notably "The Macra Terror", "The Highlanders", "The Smugglers", and "Fury from the Deep"). Sadly, this is not known to have applied to occasions where entire episodes were banned.
    • The official soundtrack-only and telesnap-reconstruction releases of "The Celestial Toymaker" respectively narrate over and distort out the only use ever in the series of the word "nigger". (Not directed at any actual character, but used in passing in the traditional version of the "Eenie Meenie Minie Mo" counting rhyme.}
    • The notorious outcry from Moral Guardians over the graphically violent original cliffhanger of episode 3 of "The Deadly Assassin", with the villain apparently drowning the Doctor in a pond, led to the archive master tape of the episode being edited to tone down the sequence. For the VHS and DVD releases of the story, the original version of the sequence was reconstructed using off-air fan recordings of the original broadcast.
  • On the UK airings of the Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 episode “Shitagi Nashi…”, Tall Slut No Panties becomes Tall Girl No Panties.
  • Disney XD aired E3 2018 live. Being a General Audience event, however, some (but not all) of the more graphic material was censored by either blurring or abruptly cutting to commercials.
  • The EO, a Dutch evangelical public broadcast organisation, likes showing nature shows. What they don't like too much is the concept of evolution by natural selection. To solve this, they alter David Attenborough documentaries to suit their creationist ideologies while still presenting them as BBC documentaries. Attenborough was not pleased.
  • In the pilot for Fairly Legal Kate complains about her cellphone service and says "I'm gonna tear Verizon a new one" - but if you watch the scene with subtitles (at least when shown on the UK's Universal Channel) the screen's sexiest mediator is apparently saying "I'm gonna buy a new one."
  • The Very Special Episode of Family Matters in which Laura causes racial tension at her school after suggesting that black history be taught along with white history usually cuts to commercial before the audience can see that someone has spray-painted "NIGGER" on Laura's locker (once upon a time, there was a TV channel that showed it uncut in reruns, but it hasn't been seen since). With this scene gone, it looks as if Carl is mad at the kids in school putting the note in her locker that read, "If you love black history so much, why don't you go back to Africa?" Thankfully, the season 2 DVD has the uncut version.
  • A very strange example of this trope happened to Fraggle Rock. Back when The Hub had the rights to reruns of the series, the dad of a young girl who was a fan of the show misheard part of the line "Well, gee Gobo, we're sorry" as a racial slur. As a result, airings of the episode from 2012 until the network became Discovery Family had Gobo's name removed from said piece of dialogue. The episode currently runs uncut on HBO.
  • Frasier:
    • In the US, Hallmark Channel deletes all mentions of the words "ass" and "butt", leaving exchanges like Martin telling Frasier he's "behaving like a jack... with a stick up his...". Jokes with rude punchlines are often rendered unintelligible, with the subsequent laughtrack looking like a non-sequitur.
    • In the UK, Channel 4's repeats of the episode that was broadcast the day before usually leave in references to "ass" and "butt" but remove the word "bastard" and any references to drugs, providing a similar non-sequitur effect when it seems the audience are laughing mid-sentence, and that the actors are leaving sentences hanging in the air unfinished.
  • An unexpected averting: in 2016, the Canadian commercial network CTV sparked controversy by airing the first season of Game of Thrones in prime time, uncensored, sex scenes and all. (While fellow Canadian network CBC is known for airing sexually explicit programming in prime time, CTV generally does not.)
  • Nick UK's editing of Gilmore Girls was considered so odious (the episode where Paris is rejected from Harvard and talks about losing her virginity wasn't even seen on it) that fans of the show completely refused to watch it, and the network let it go; other British networks that picked it up after did no editing to the series whatsoever outside of commercial cuts.
  • The Gospel Music Channel and InspirationTV air family-friendly programs such as Amen, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and Promised Land. Despite the already wholesome content of these shows, mild curse words such as "hell" and "damn" are edited out, as are many references to or depiction of sexual activity — even if it's consensual and between a married couple. This is not as extreme now that the Gospel Music Channel is now UP Channel, as they have begun to air more contemporary movies.
    • The GMC cut of Sister, Sister is absolutely painful to watch. Several lines (i.e.: "stupid", "dumb", "pervert", a majority of Roger's lines) are muted to avoid offending GMC's target audience (Christians).
    • Despite 7th Heaven already being an incredibly clean and saccharine show the word "butt" of all things is muted making it come off like the characters were saying much worse, i.e. the context was Simon calling Mary "Big Butt".
  • Hallmark Channel bowdlerizes several of its shows, including reruns of Cheers. Words such as "bitch", "slut" and even "butt" are censored. Oddly, Carla's insult to bald John Hill, "Two heads like that would make a perfectly good butt," is censored when the episode is rerun, yet featured uncensored in the network's ads for the show. Also, the penultimate line in the entire series, when Sam realizes the bar is his true love and says, "I'm the luckiest son of a bitch on Earth," is chopped to "I'm the luckiest son on Earth."
    • Hallmark does something similar for old episodes for The Golden Girls, leaving silence for similar words and rendering a few punchlines moot, yet they still aired that one episode where the ladies are mistaken for prostitutes.
    • Hallmark was notorious for muting out the term "Oh my God" in certain shows, believing that the network's devoutly religious audience would be offended. Ironically, said audience actually got offended that they would censor that expression at all!
  • In an episode of House, Dr. House prescribes cigarettes to a patient suffering from an inflammatory bowel. In France, the cigarettes were changed to two bowls of rice.
  • Parodied in an episode of How I Met Your Mother: Marshall is recapping a vulgar conversation with his boss regarding another company that has done a lot of environmental damage. Lily reminds him that she is pregnant and wants him to censor himself so the child won't hear vulgar language. Marshall then recaps his story, replacing the raunchy words he said at work with clean ones (i.e, "grab them by their big sweaty hands, "sons of mothers", etc). Barney notes the scene is like watching The Breakfast Club on TBS. Also, there are things Ted isn't prepared to tell his kids. E.g. in a flashback to their college days, Marshall was obviously smoking a joint, but what we get to see is Marshall enjoying a sandwich in his dorm room, giggling as he does so, and hiding the sandwich under some papers when he thinks the Dean is going to visit. Ted also self-censors certain words and replaces them with more innocent substitutions like "grinch" and "fudge".
  • When Kamen Rider Build was aired in South Korea, the map used throughout the show was changed from Japan to a generic fictional country, presumably because of the historical bad blood between the two nations.
  • The Live-Action Adaptation of Life completely removed Ayumu cutting herself despite the fact it's heavily related to her character and a driving force of the manga. It instead only focused on the bullying aspect on the series. It also revealed Manami was in a relationship with a delinquent by showing them in bed together afterwards (and having Manami covered up) instead of using the rather graphic scene the manga had.
  • Incredibly, some British airings of Magnum, P.I.'s "Did You See The Sunrise?" remove the gunshot when Magnum kills the man who murdered his friend.
  • Long before Veggietales was hit with this when it aired on NBC, another Christian series, McGee and Me!, had some of the more explicit Christian material trimmed down or removed when it aired on ABC.
  • In Monty Python's Flying Circus, when the Spanish Inquisition arrives late in court, Cardinal Ximénez exclaims, "Oh bugger!" This scene was frequently removed, since 'bugger' was considered too profane back then.
    • The most famous Bowdlerization of Python came in the "Summarize Proust" sketch, wherein Graham Chapman's character, asked for his hobbies outside summarizing, lists "strangling animals, golf and masturbating", resulting in a roar of laughter from the audience. The BBC had generally been pretty tolerant of the Pythons, but they drew the line on saying "masturbating." The troupe took their protests all the way to the BBC offices to no avail. Two edits were produced, one in which "masturbating" is simply muted, creating an odd pause between "golf" and the seemingly disproportionate laugh, and one in which the line is clumsily rearranged into "golf and strangling animals." As Python member Terry Jones would later point out, the fact that "strangling animals" was acceptable in all edits but "masturbating" was unacceptable explained a lot about Britons of the time. Luckily, the unedited master copy was kept and has resurfaced, including on the Internet.
    • In the first US broadcast of selected Monty Python's Flying Circus episodes in 1974, NBC carefully bleeped out offensive words in the line "They washed their arms, their legs, and then they washed their naughty bits." At eleven-thirty at night. How times change.
    • In the "Black Spot" cartoon sketch, the narrator's reference to "cancer" was overdubbed with "gangrene" spoken in a completely different voice.
  • The Office: The episode "Koi Pond" was edited in reruns and on the DVD version to remove the cold opening where Michael pretends to hang himself to scare a group of children, after the American Society for Suicide Prevention criticized the sequence for making light of suicide (and, possibly, condoning this kind of act to more vulnerable/idiotic viewers). Despite being cut from the DVD set, this scene is availible on NBC's official site and on the iTunes release of the episode.
  • Subverted in-universe in the Parks and Recreation episode "Farmers Market." Andy's band gets slated for a six-year-old birthday party, but struggles to find a song of his that isn't inappropriate. He tries to rectify this by changing the song "Sex Hair" to..."Sex Bears." April has to tell him that "hair" wasn't the inappropriate word in question. He eventually manages to come up with new lyrics that aren't about sex by focusing on childish things like picking noses and stinky feet instead.
  • Perfect Strangers had an episode where a controversial bit of dialogue was Bowlderized. Oddly, it was the episode in which Carl Winslow (yes, THAT Carl Winslow) made his debut appearance. Harriette, after kissing Carl, noted that his lips tasted sweet and asked him if he had powdered sugar on them. To cover up the fact that he had just eaten nine donuts, Carl quickly fabricates a lie that it was actually cocaine. He elaborates further by saying that they had a big bust and he needed to taste it to make sure that it was real. He then remarks about “The fools that use that junk.” The scene was aired with these lines, and remained as it was for years in it’s (sadly, limited) syndication run. But when the series was remastered in HD and resurfaced on DVD, Hulu, and other streaming releases, though Harriette’s line about powdered sugar was intact, Carl’s lines about tasting cocaine were removed entirely. It is likely that they won’t ever be put back in.
  • Power Rangers frequently gets Bowdlerized when compared to its Japanese source material Super Sentai. Most edits are done to make Power Rangers appear less violent compared to Super Sentai. This is mostly done by, among other things, cutting kicks and punches to someone's head, make the characters imply that a building that's being destroyed was in fact empty and by making enemies less threatening overall.
    • The first season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is a heavily Bowdlerized version of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, its source material. Zyuranger featured things like religious referencesnote , children in mortal peril and even the death of one of the main characters. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers removed all of this and went for the much simpler "heroic high-schoolers save the world" formula.
    • As Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers wore on, the violence was downplayed to appease Moral Guardians. By the third season, the Rangers were fighting mooks with less imitable ninja tricks, as opposed to the more bare fisticuffs of the first two seasons.
    • Zigzagged in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. While the series has some Bowdlerization, it can also get a lot darker compared to its source material Seijuu Sentai Gingaman. The only really notable Bowdlerization done was the replacement of Gingaman villain Shelinda, who was dressed in nothing more than an armored bikini, with the more modestly designed Trakeena. But the inverse comes from the fact that Gingaman felt like a light hearted fantasy series, while Lost Galaxy was more a Darker and Edgier space opera, with a much higher body count Gingaman ever had.
    • The Disney Era of the franchise was especially notable for this. The showrunners edited physical projectiles, like bullets or shurikens, to look like lasers and made fight scenes look more like dance routines with random explosions in the background. They also went to great lengths to desexualize female villains with visible breasts in their designs, despite said designs not even featuring nipples.
    • Power Rangers S.P.D., apart from being guilty of the "bullets to lasers" thing, also introduced Containment Cards. In both SPD and its source material Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger the Monsters of the Week were intergalactic alien criminals. In the Japanese version they were outright executed on the spot by the Rangers, after being deemed guilty by the intergalactic court. In SPD, the monsters were shrunk and contained into datacards.
    • Power Rangers Time Force was heavily censored following 9/11 to remove much of the franchise's staple of Stuff Blowing Up, and to re-record some of Ransik's dialogue to remove analogues to terrorism. At least one post-9/11 airing of "Ransik Lives", instead of using the actual edit seen on the home video releases, instead used a placeholder edit where his speech was dubbed over with the Time Force theme song, complete with Ransik moving his lips with nothing coming out.
    • In Power Rangers Samurai most scenes referencing death from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger are altered. In "Deal with a Nighlok" the boy wishes his father back from Afghanistan where as in Shinkenger the boy wanted his dead grandfather back. In "The Blue and The Gold" the Nighlok were going to butcher toys; in Shinkenger it's young women instead. In "The Bullzord" Cody lives with his father; in Shinkenger the boy Hiro lived with his Grandfather since his parents were killed in a rockslide likely caused by The Ushi Origami. On the villainous side of things, in Samurai, Master Xandred regularly drinks medicine instead of sake (rice wine) as in Shinkenger. See Frothy Mugs of Water.
  • BBC Kids (at least in Canada) has shown episodes of Red Dwarf with heavy edits. One particular episode, "Holoship," had virtually the entire middle of the episode removed, as the episode dealt largely with a main character's romancing a fellow hologram, making the resulting plot unintelligible. (They pretty much had to cut the bits where the female hologram showed off her superhuman sexual abilities. Not to mention the fact the crew boasted of having sex as part of their daily routine.)
    • The episode "Balance of Power." The remastered version of that episode took out the hilarious moment where Kochanski (really Rimmer using her holo-data) looks down her shirt and says, "I've seen something you haven't, squire."
    • Kryten as well, for lawyer-friendly purposes presumably; Rimmer describes a group of skeletons as having 'less meat on them than a Chicken McNugget', but the sound is dipped on the "Mc" (this was around the time McDonald's successfully sued activists). The Remastered version (produced a decade later), however, restores the missing sound to make the word fully audible (although the DVD and repeats use the original 1988 version, which still has the edit).
    • Prior to the premiere of Series X, Dave reran the previous 8 series. As the episodes were broadcast in the daytime and afternoon (i.e. pre-watershed), a number of edits were made to the episodes for usages of the word "bastard" and instances of characters flipping the middle finger and making the v-sign gesture (which is considered obscene in the UK).
    • The Canadian youth-oriented network YTV also edited Red Dwarf episodes for content, not just for language and innuendo, but also for vulgarity, such as a scene in "Parallel Universe" in which Lister burps a song melody. One episode, "Polymorph", never aired at all during the show's original run on YTV.
  • Nickelodeon UK has trimmed the odd episode of Sam & Cat:
    • "#FavoriteShow" was cut to remove the shot of Cat leaping onto the hood of a moving car and all shots of her on the car as it's in motion due to fear that impressionable audiences will imitate the stunt and end up injured or dead from it. note  That said, Cat's T.J. Hooker impersonation can still be seen in the opening titles of every episode, making this a little pointless.
    • Goomer's alley fight in "#MommaGoomer" is also edited to cut down on violence.
    • The final scene in "#OscarTheOuch" where Oscar is struck by lightning while holding a golf club and basically shrugs it off with a cry of "Predicament!" has the Running Gag and the shot of the lightning hitting him removed (although as with the Star Trek: The Next Generation example above, the latter still appears in Nickelodeon UK's airings of "#BlooperEpisode").
  • An early episode of Saturday Night Live featured cast members singing the song "Let's Kill Gary Gilmore for Christmas". When the episode's rerun aired after Gilmore's execution, this segment was replaced by a different skit.
    • On the season 32 episode hosted by Rainn Wilson, there was a sketch about four guys who remember where they were when they first heard "Danny's Song." Bill Hader's character remembers hearing the song when he was spending the day with his father, and he has so much fun with him, that he now thinks of his father as just his father and not someone affected with Down's Syndrome. In all reruns, "Down's Syndrome" is bleeped out, making the line sound worse than it supposedly is. The original version with the unbleeped line is nowhere to be found (unless you can find an online torrent of season 32 episodes of SNL or you recorded the episode when it first came on in February 2007).
    • The season 19 episode hosted by Alec Baldwin (with his then-wife Kim Basinger) has some minor edits done to the infamous "Canteen Boy Goes Camping" sketch in which Canteen Boy [Adam Sandler] is sexually molested by his scoutmaster, Mr. Armstrong [Alec Baldwin], though none of the edits were for content, despite this sketch being one of the raunchiest ones the show has done in the 1990s (it was cut from reruns whenever this episode is shown in 60-minute syndicated installments). The edited version includes a title card that explains that, despite his name, Canteen Boy is actually a 27-year-old who still lives with his mom and is still a Boy Scout, cut some of Canteen Boy's conversing with the owl while Mr. Armstrong is getting wine, and includes an alternate scene of Mr. Armstrong getting attacked by snakes so that way the shot isn't shown from a low angle.
      • Speaking of season 19 episodes being edited, the Martin Lawrence episode had Martin's monologue (which included vulgar references to women's hygiene) cut off and replaced with a series of title cards explaining that the rest of the monologue will never be televised again, as it nearly got everyone on SNL fired.
    • The season 11 (1985-1986 season) premiere hosted by Madonna originally featured a cold opening in which NBC network executive at the time, Brandon Tartikoff, announced that Lorne Michaels' new SNL cast will all be urine tested for drugs, followed by Anthony Michael Hall turning in his sample. The censors at the time found the sketch to be too gross note , so it was cut from all reruns (including the 60-minute reruns) in America. The airing of this episode on Canada's Comedy Network has this sketch intact.
  • Mostly averted in France, where one channel goes as far as to air unedited episodes of Sex and the City during daytime.
  • The British Reality Show Snog, Marry, Avoid? is named after a game more usually known as "Fuck, Marry, Kill."
  • The syndicated version of The Sopranos survives relatively unscathed sex and violence-wise, as David Chase filmed alternate scenes (the scenes at the Bada Bing Strip Club have scantily-clad dancers who don't take off their clothes and the violent deaths are often replaced with shots of someone's face or shown at an angle so the violence won't be as severe). However, all of the profanity and explicit sexual lines are redubbed with toned-down versions that either weaken the dramatic impact or are just plain Narmy. One particularly notorious instance of editing came when the line "...sucking on a Cub Scout's ass" became "...chewing on a Cub Scout's ear" note .
    • Before the show went syndicated, MADtv had a parody of the show that depicted just how disjointed they thought the show would be if it was shown on a non-premium cable channel and edited for all manners of violence, sex (the scene of Tony getting a lap dance was so severely edited that it just showed the stripper coming in and finishing up), and foul, abusive language (even going as far as editing out all mention of Big Pussy's name). The actual syndicated version on A&E isn't as bad as the parody MADtv came up with (which depicted The Sopranos on PAX, of all channels, and featured an entire episode lasting less than five minutes), but it's still pretty funny that the show predicted how the show might be Edited for Syndication.
  • Stargate Universe: The scene of Lt. Matthew Scott and Lt. Vanessa James are having sex in a storeroom before being interrupted by Colonel Young's radio call, was cut during some UK broadcasts, leaving the viewer with no explanation of why Matt looks flustered when he reports for duty and far worse, causing Vanessa's later jealousy over Matt and Chloe to seem unfounded and stalkerish.
  • The German version of the infamous Star Trek episode "Amok Time" had much of the Ho Yay and references to sexuality altered. Given that the episode is all about Spock needing to Mate or Die, and snapping out of it when he believes that he's killed Captain Kirk, removing the Ho Yay and the references to sexuality from the episode is a little bit like removing the water from the ocean. How bad were the edits? Well, they made Pon Farr into a non-sexual illness, and redid it so that the whole thing was a lucid dream that Spock was having.
    • And that was only the tip of the iceberg. The series had a very bad history of Bowdlerization in Germany. It started when public station ZDF for whatever reason showed an interest in the series. The question of the why this series of all things arises, since at that time it was filled to the brim with self-proclaimed ultra-conservative moral guardians. They first cherry-picked 39 of the 79 episodes, then cut out tons of material they didn't like and put everything though a dubbing process that today would just be seen as a Gag Dub. Amok Time was the worst example of this. The rest of the episodes was finally dubbed in 1988 by private station Sat.1 and while it generally had a more faithful dub and only few cuts, some episodes were still hackjobs. One episode, "Patterns of Force", was still avoided (for understandable reasons, as it deals with a fascist alien culture who are explicitly copying the Third Reich rather than just being Nazis By Another Name), until finally Paramount themselves dubbed it in 1995. Of course it fell onto everyones feet hard once the DVD editions were in the planning stage. Paramount was absolutely livid at this Cut-and-Paste Translation and it took pains and lots of money to put the episodes back into uncut state, dub the missing scenes and re-dub many scenes that were completely unusable due to censorship or a shoddy dub script.
    • The Ho Yay portion of the backrub in "Shore Leave". is missing from both the German and French translations, but given that the French translations of the show and the movies also make a lot of very weird changes to various Kirk/Spock exchanges for seemingly no logical reason this might well overlap with Translation with an Agenda.
  • UK broadcasts of Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Conspiracy" edit the scene where Remmick is shot by Picard and Riker. Remmick's head is not seen exploding (his flesh just gets burnt off) and we don't really see the mother creature emerging from his body. (That said, the head-exploding scene is left intact when BBC Two screens the Clip Show episode "Shades Of Grey", which includes it.)
  • Certain broadcasts of The Story of Tracy Beaker: The Movie of Me replace Hayley's line of "Life's a bitch" with an alternate take of her sighing (in response to learning the policeman and his wife cannot make babies).
  • It was inevitable that Torchwood: Miracle Day would probably face the censors once the pay-cable season began airing on BBC America. But the BBCA airing of "Dead of Night" managed to sneak a bit of a Double Standard in as well. For obvious reasons, the fairly explicit sex scenes between Rex/Vera and Jack/Brad were cut. But Rex/Vera were still shown about to hook up, then post-coital. Meanwhile, the entire scene of Jack even going to the bar and flirting with Brad was cut, along with his drunk phone call to Gwen afterwards (which also happened to include the moment when Gwen sees her family again and the pair's mournful wish that Ianto was still there). Which also meant that Jack vanished one evening and reappeared the next morning, hung over, without any explanation. Well done, BBCA censors.
  • Taiwan shares satellite TV with Southeast Asia, so at the insistence of countries like Singapore and Indonesia all references to gay sex are censored, leaving some episodes of shows like e.g. 'Friends' incomprehensible.
  • The BBC cosy cop show A Touch of Frost is based on a series of novels by R D Wingfield, in which the Old-Fashioned Copper protagonist Jack Frost is far more genuinely bigoted, abrasive, irresponsible and semi-corrupt, and the general tone is far darker.
  • In the United Kingdom, there are "daytime edits" of American 1990s-to-early-to-mid-2000s sitcoms such as Friends and Scrubs, in which invective and references to sex beyond Double Entendre levels is removed. Sitcoms from later eras, such as Suburgatory and Melissa & Joey, are also cut for language when shown in daytime slots.
  • The British Dom Com Vicious (about a constantly-bickering couple of old gay men) was originally called Vicious Old Queens until somebody decided that it would be pushing the show's heavy Self-Deprecation and playing with N-Word Privileges too far.
  • From a show that you probably wouldn't expect it: when Wheel of Fortune did its first set of road shows at Radio City Music Hall in November 1988, the intro featured the song "New York, New York" from the musical On the Town, but with the lyric "New York, New York, a helluva town" changed to "New York, New York, a wonderful town". While it is appropriate censorship, the "wonderful town" version actually originated from the film adaptation of On the Town, which censored this particular lyric to meet MPAA guidelines of the era.
  • Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?'s house band, Rockapella, performed their song "Zombie Jamboree" on the show at least a few times, originally having one line of the chorus be "I don't give a damn". Reruns changed the last word to "dang".
  • The WWE of late is beginning to edge back to the Attitude Era that was more violent and adult in tone, in comparison to the kid friendly PG era. However the WWE was heavily bowdlerised in 2002 with a case involving the World Wide Fund for Nature (originally the World Wildlife Fund, which remains the legal name of the charity's US and Canada branches). For years they had an issue with the World Wrestling Federation, and after taking them to court won to force the name change to World Wrestling Entertainment. But they did not stop there, every single instance and use of WWF had to be censored. References to WWF were bleeped or muted, the logo had to be changed and it had to be blurred out down to the turnbuckle pads and referee outfit. The WWF showed absolutely no mercy whatsoever on the now WWE, and it is at least partially blamed for the PG era.
    • Although a later settlement between WWF and WWE now allows WWE to air archival footage (i.e., pre-2002) with "WWF" references, whether spoken or visual, uncut. WWE, for its part, continues with and expands on the "WWF" ban in new footage; notably, when WWE produces an "old school" show, it now uses a redesigned retro logo with the "F" removed.
  • You Can't Do That on Television:
    • The episode "Body Parts" when aired in America cuts out three risque sketches: an "Introduction to the Opposites" sketch where Mr. Schidtler shows his class a porno film as part of his anatomy lesson, a sketch where Alisdair sells Playboy magazines to his friends, and a locker wall joke where Karen Grant describes her favorite body part as "what's in the pants" (though she means "a wallet"). On the American version, the sketches were replaced with extra commercial time and two sketches that didn't air in Canada: one where Moose is tricked into eating a grasshopper and another where Alisdair visits the Groucho Marx-esque doctor about the leg he put in backwards.
    • "Fears, Worries, and Anxieties" was also cut when it came to America. In the sketch where Alisdair tells his mom (Mrs. Prevert) that he doesn't want to go to school because of a bully named Killer Curtis, the name "Killer Curtis" was replaced with "Crusher Willis" as there really was a serial killer in the news at the time named "Killer Curtis." The change is obvious, as Alasdair's voice had changed from puberty between the episode's premiere in Canada and its premiere in America.
    • "Adoption": In Canada, Senator Prevert's line "You get over here right away, ya damn bureaucrat!" after learning that he can't return Adam to the orphanage after using him to do chores all day (though Adam still would have been taken back, due to Senator Prevert abusing him by making him work without feeding him) was edited to remove the "damn" in "damn bureaucrat." In America, the scene was left in, but the episode ended up being banned after only two airings due to complaints about the adoption jokes note .
  • Parodied in the Belgian TV show Zonde Van De Zendtijd. They said that they made a special "uncensored" version of their show, but the network executives caught it and invited them in their bureau to demand that the word "uncensored" would get removed, since in Belgium TV never censors (which is actually true). Just a little bit of thinking would show you how stupid the stuff was about to get from that point onwards. They showed all that while in the bureau. The plot ended with a Deus ex Machina in which the network executives were turned into chickens.
  • The Disney+ version of That's So Raven censors a line referencing R. Kelly's attraction to teens.
  • Dexter was a Showtime series that started in 2006. In 2007, CBS decided to air Season 1. This required extensive editing, to the point that the dialog of some characters (esp. Debra, who averages an F-Bomb every 15-20 seconds along with other curses)was effectively gibberish. Season 1 was the only season aired by CBS.


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