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What with television being a very dynamic and visual medium, and with there being thousands of episodes every day that can be affected by timely sensitivity, the examples have their own page.

All examples regarding the 9/11 attacks still go on that page.


  • The BBC has done a fair deal of damage control when presenter Jimmy Savile (who died a year prior) was discovered to be a prolific pedophile/sexual abuser.
    • The scandal broke when rival network ITV ran a special, Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, that revealed that the BBC newsmagazine Newsnight was working on an investigative report on his alleged sexual abuse at the end of 2011, shortly after his nationally-mourned death. The Newsnight report was spiked for disputed reasons... while the BBC aired Savile tribute specials that Christmas. Indeed, one of those possible reasons for the cancellation was that it would have ruined the tributes to bring up such horrific stories.
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    • New Tricks swapped the airing order of the ninth and tenth episodes of Series 9 because the ninth, "Glasgow UCOS", featured a recently uncovered child abuse scandal involving a man who was coincidentally also named Jimmy from two decades earlier. Savile's alleged crimes dated back to The '50s.
    • Less than two years before news of the scandal broke, BBC Four had begun airing every archived Top of the Pops episode from April 1976 onward. Subsequently, all the episodes Savile presented or helped to present were dropped from the rerun rotation and banished forevermore to Keep Circulating the Tapes purgatory. After another presenter, Dave Lee Travis, was arrested as part of the Scotland Yard investigation into Savile's crimes, episodes he appeared in were dropped too.
    • Surprisingly, the Tweenies episode "Favourite Songs", which featured a Top of the Pops spoof with Max dressed as Savile, missed the inital cut on material related to him. It wasn't until a rerun aired on CBeebies on 20th January 2013 that people complained, causing the network to finally pull the episode.
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  • VH1 cancelled the reality dating show Megan Wants a Millionaire and the third season of I Love Money after a contestant involved in both shows — and alleged to be the winner of the latter — was involved in a murder-suicide case.


  • A 1997 episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun ("Tricky Dick") features Tommy joining a garage band. In the original script, the band was called "Shattered Princess". As it happened, Princess Diana's death occurred just before filming, so the name got changed to "Whiskey Kitten". The funny part is that that episode was filmed out of order due to scheduling conflicts, so the delayed shooting date ultimately saved them the trouble of looping out "Shattered Princess". (All this is explained in the DVD Commentary for that episode.)
  • The British sitcom Absolute Power postponed an episode with a throwaway but hard-to-cut joke about an MP faking a heart attack to avoid being interviewed, after the death of prominent MP Robin Cook from a heart attack. They also postponed an episode about a member of the Bin Laden family trying to buy British Airways following the London bombings.
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  • Ackley Bridge had its first episode hastily re-edited to remove a plot involving a bomb hoax following the Manchester Arena bombing.
  • The Showtime documentary series Active Shooter: America Under Fire, in which each episode is about a different mass shooting, had to have repeats pulled after the Las Vegas mass shooting which killed 58 and injured almost 500. This was narrowly averted a month later, when the sixth episode aired just two days before another mass shooting occurred in Sutherland Springs, Texas. One of the executive producers once referred to the show as being too relevant.
  • In April 1995, All My Children was setting up a storyline in which one of the characters was planning on setting a bomb at the wedding of two other characters. When the Oklahoma City bombing occurred, producers immediately canceled the storyline, and appeared at the beginning of one of the episodes to explain their choice. A similar plotline on the season finale of Melrose Place (psycho Kimberley was planning to bomb the apartment complex) had already been filmed, but was edited. It did air for the following season's premiere, when the topic was not nearly as sensitive (though ironically, it did air on September 11, 1995).
    • Years later, plans for a school shooting sequence was dropped in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre.
  • The sixth episode of American Horror Story: Cult was edited to remove graphic gun violence in its television airing in response to the October 2017 shooting in Las Vegas. However, the unedited version was still released digitally and on video on demand.
  • Bonanza: Several sources claim that the episode "Kingdom of Fear" (loosely based on Cool Hand Luke, where the Cartwrights were arrested by a despot posing as a lawman for "trespassing on his land"), filmed in 1968 and intended to air during the 1968-1969 season, was pulled due to its violent storyline, in light of the shooting death of Robert Kennedy, race riots (in the aftermath of the killing of Martin Luther King Jr.), clashes between police and war protesters and violence at Democratic National Convention events. The episode was finally aired in the spring of 1971, three years later. note 
  • An episode of Bones featuring the murder of a college student was delayed because of the Virginia Tech shootings, which happened earlier in the same week that the episode was supposed to air. Those same shootings also forced One Life to Live to curtail its big sweeps storyline involving similar events.
    • Criminal Minds delayed the airing of "Doubt" until the next season for the same reason.
  • In the final episode of the second season of Bottom, "'s Out", Ritchie and Eddie encounter a flasher while camping out on Wimbledon Common. After filming was completed, but before the episode was to be broadcasted, a young woman was sexually assaulted and murdered on the Common. The episode was shelved and first appeared on the VHS release.
  • When The Brady Bunch was added to CBS All-Access, the episode "Is There A Doctor In The House?" was omitted in wake a of a then-recent measles outbreak.
  • Two episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Earshot" and "Graduation Day") were delayed for several months following the Columbine shootings. One episode featured a student attempting suicide on campus, the other ended with the entire graduating class coming to graduation armed and fighting against a horde of vampires that ended with part of the school being blown up.
    • Interestingly, "Graduation Day, Part 2" did air in a couple of places in Canada. Fans started tape trains and Joss Whedon was apparently all for it.
    • Word of God has stated that everyone, everyone was in favor of scrapping "Earshot", as it would have aired shortly after Columbine and was a mundane school shooting. However, many (including Whedon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Seth Green) spoke out against the decision to pull the finale (hours before it would have aired) because of kids using axes against a giant snake.
  • The Castle episode "Still", in which the characters have to disarm a bomb in order to save Beckett, was postponed so that it would air two weeks after the Boston Marathon bombing instead of just one week, and was never seen in the Boston area outside of areas which received the Boston ABC affiliate's sister station in New Hampshire, online, and then seven months later when it hit the rerun cycle. Unfortunately, just three days after the Boston Marathon attack, TNT inadvertently aired a rerun of the other episode that has a bomb plot, "47 Seconds." They then had to issue an apology for it.
  • Casualty rewrote an episode which would have shown a Muslim suicide bombing, because the issue of Islamic terrorism was thought to be too sensitive after the 7/7 London train bombings. (See Western Terrorists.)
  • Civil was a planned TNT drama about a modern-day American Civil War; it made it to the pilot stage but was completely dropped when the 2016 Presidential election and its outcome proved too similar to the plot's jumping-off point for comfort especially towards left-wing Americans.
  • Paramount Network indefinitely delayed the season 33 premiere of COPS, and later decided to cancel the show altogether, in the wake of the protests that resulted from the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. It’s A&E counterpart, Live PD, decided to temporarily stop airing new episodes, and then was cancelled altogether for the same reason.
  • Coop & Cami Ask the World: The episode "Would You Wrather Have a Snow Day?" was pulled before its original airing a few weeks before airdate because of the Coronavirus pandemic, as several schools were shut down and it involved Cami trying to shut school down with a snow day, along with a subplot of Charlotte trying to keep her perfect attendance despite catching a cold, and goes outside when she shouldn't. The airing of the episode "Would You Wrather Skate Circles Around Your Sister?" took its place.
  • Coronation Street:
    • The show also changed a storyline in which a character's baby was abducted due to similarities with the Madeline McCann abduction case.
    • The episode scheduled to air on June 2, 2010 was cancelled by ITV due to the then-breaking news about the Cumbria massacre. The episode in question featured scenes with guns.
  • One episode of The Cosby Show, "The Dentist", was originally to have had Danny Kaye as the eponymous dentist persuading a child character into his chair by propelling it up and down and saying "This is the tooth shuttle, and I need an astronaut!" The episode's original broadcast was scheduled for less than one week after the disaster aboard Space Shuttle Challenger, so Kaye overdubbed the line with "This is the tooth ship, and I need a pilot!"
  • The UK airing of the CSI two parter "Grave Danger" was delayed by a week because on the day that it was due to be aired, it emerged that the 7/7 bombings (about a week earlier) were the work of suicide bombers.
    • And the French airing of the finale was delayed following the terrorist attacks in Brussels.
  • Danger 5 Season 2, intended to be broadcast in October 2014, was at first delayed indefinitely, then pushed back to 4 January 2015. SBS was worried that airing a comedy show with beheadings during the ISIS crisis (characterised by infamous terrorist beheadings) would be too offensive.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Following the Dunblane massacre, the 1996 TV Movie was edited on its original BBC transmission, to remove as much of the opening gunfight as possible. This scene has subsequently been reinstated on the DVD release of the episode, but the sound effect of the Master breaking his wife's neck (which was also removed on the original transmission) is still missing on the DVD.
    • "School Reunion" (Series 2) features a school being blown up in order to destroy the aliens inside it. This episode was taken off the air in Australia after a similar event involving a student rebel detonating a bomb in a class room killing 5 students happened. The fact that the rebel was called "Ken" didn't help due to this line being featured in the episode: "Kenny blew up the school! It was Kenny!" (whereupon the happy students cheer...)
    • The death of the Sheriff of Nottingham in "Robot of Sherwood" (Series 8) had to be altered at the last minute, from the character being beheaded, which would've led to a Robotic Reveal, to being pushed into a vat of molten gold, leaving his nature ambiguous in the final product. (This also led to a Missy-in-the-Nethersphere scene involving said character getting cut.) This change was due to the recent beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Stoloff by the Muslim extremist militia ISIS; as the show was meant as one of the season's Breather Episodes, the change was probably for the best.
    • "The Pyramid at the End of the World" (Series 10) aired within the week following the suicide bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, so a discussion the Doctor had with Nardole about what could cause The End of the World as We Know It cut lines referencing terrorism, in particular the Doctor noting that "Terrorism discriminates" (as opposed to the real threat, a bacterial plague).
    • An interesting example arose with the last of the fan live watches linked to the Doctor Who Lockdown event during the COVID-19 pandemic: "World Enough and Time" and "The Doctor Falls" were to be screened June 6th, but the Unfortunate Implications of running a story involving a black companion being shot and mutilated at a time when the top international headline was worldwide Black Lives Matter/police brutality protests (especially given that fans were encouraged to live-tweet reactions on Twitter during these screenings) led to it being cancelled. The day it would have ran the original short "The Best of Days", a canon epilogue to the story written by Steven Moffat and featuring Bill and Nardole, voiced by their original actors, was screened instead. Notably, it's set in 2020 and mentions both the pandemic and the protests (since Bill is back on Earth at the time).
  • The Dukes of Hazzard has fallen victim to this. Don't expect to see it on television again any time soon after the Charleston church massacre perpetrated by white supremacist and Confederate sympathizer Dylann Storm Roof. (For those who've never watched it, its Sweet Home Alabama theme involves the heroes' car having a giant Confederate flag painted on the roof and being known as the "General Lee".)
  • EastEnders altered a storyline about May Wright kidnapping Dawn Swann's baby, because of the then-recent disappearance of Madeleine McCann. When the air date for a planned storyline about Lucas Johnson murdering a prostitute coincided with the high-profile murders of sex workers in Ipswich, the episodes were rewritten to have him kidnapping a random woman who survives.
  • In the Eleventh Hour episode "Miracle", a "healing" spring turns out to be contaminated with tritium, a component in refining nuclear material. In the original UK version, the source of the contamination was a secret government program to manufacture plutonium for the express purpose of planting it in foreign countries as a pretense on which to invade. "It would be really embarrassing if we decided to invade some country on the claim that they had a nuclear weapons program, and there turn out to be absolutely no evidence," hit a little too close to home on the other side of The Pond, so in the US version, it's the work of white supremacists trying to build a dirty bomb.
  • Irish TV channel RTE aired a sitcom called The English Class about a group of recently-arrived immigrants attending a night school class to improve their English. In one episode, when a woman misses class, the teacher later announces that she was murdered and dumped next to a railway line (all Played for Laughs). This had a lot of similarities to the case of a Swiss student recently murdered in Galway, and provoked a large number of complaints about its poor taste.
  • Lauren Graham hurriedly had to voiceover a one-liner involving Bali for Lorelai in Gilmore Girls which aired four days after the 2005 Bali bombings to instead refer to Maui, though the Closed Captioning track wasn't able to be replaced in time.
  • The Hallmark Channel's nightly marathons of The Golden Girls skipped the episode "The Flu" in 2020 and early 2021, presumably because three elderly ladies attending a social event despite being seriously ill wasn't as funny during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The BBC drama Good Cop, about an otherwise impeccable cop who goes rogue and vigilante-kills the nasty piece of work who beat his partner to death, had its final episode postponed for almost a month following the gun-murder of two policewomen in Manchester.
  • Good Morning America and The View, both on Disney-owned ABC, were set to feature extensive behind-the-scenes and grand opening coverage of Shanghai Disneyland on June 15, 2016, with Robin Roberts hosting. The night before that, however, a child wading in water at one of Walt Disney World's resort hotels (in Orlando, Florida) was snatched by an alligator. "Tragedy at Disney World" ended up being the top story on GMA the next morning as there was no hope the child would be found alive by then; he was found drowned later that day. With coverage of the disaster being a national news story for days afterward, televised Shanghai Disneyland coverage was indefinitely postponed without so much as an explanation despite all the pre-disaster advertising; even then, the network came under scrutiny for not discussing (as CBS and NBC did) the issue of why Disney beaches didn't have signs posted about the gators.
  • In The Greatest American Hero, Ralph Hinkley's name was changed to Hanley for several episodes after John Hinkley Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan.
    • And a scene that has June Lockhart saying that his name suggests that he's reliable had to be dubbed over with airplane noise.
  • Season 1, Episode 4 of Hannibal was pulled after Bryan Fuller, the show's creator felt like it would be in poor taste to air an episode about children killing other children after the Sandy Hook school shootings months prior, so the episode was postponed in the U.S. (but did air overseas) with plot-relevant bits released online as "minisodes" and the full episode later released on iTunes.
  • Have I Got News for You:
    • One episode, which aired a day after the 7/7 London Bombing, had the "Caption" section, in which a screenshot is shown and the panel must come up with a caption to go with it in a spot, a picture of a man holding a pink bag on a tube train while standing next to a child wearing a pink shirt was shown and the caption given was: "Gay suicide bomber kiss 10 gay kids." Many complaints rained in and a public apology was given.
  • The final two episodes in the third season of Haven "Haven S 3 E 12 Reunion" (in which there is a shooting at an alumni reunion) and "Haven S 3 E 13 Thanks For The Memories", were pulled off Syfy's schedule shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and replaced with holiday-themed episodes "Do You See What I See" from Eureka (from the previous year) and "Secret Santa" from ''Warehouse13, respectively.
  • The 2018 reboot of Heathers was originally slated to premiere in March 2018, but was pushed back after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting due to a core part of the Heathers story being high school students shooting their classmates to death. The new premiere was scheduled for July 2018, but the show was cancelled after the Santa Fe High School shooting (with the showrunners currently trying to shop the series around to other networks to pick it up), with the Paramount Network president of development stating that "the combination of a high school show with these very dark moments didn't feel right" in the current climate. Even after Paramount decided to air it in a five-night event with some of the violence edited out, episodes were pulled again after a mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue (as they depicted active-shooter training at the high school) and the series finale was edited down to remove the school being blown up for the airing (though the unedited version was shown on HBO overseas).
  • Hollyoaks dropped a storyline which would have revealed that two characters had committed murder while underage and were now living under new identities with police protection, because of the similarities to the James Bulger case.
  • A two-episode story in Homicide: Life on the Street was left out of the UK broadcast because it dealt with a hostage situation in a school and would have been broadcast too soon after the Dunblane massacre.
  • The first episode of the BBC sketch show Horne and Corden had a sketch in which a pair of performers magically eliminated gun violence. The following day, a school shooting happened in Germany, and the sketch was removed from the repeats and iPlayer version.
  • The 2012 season finale of the Biography Channel series I Survived was to feature the stories of those who survived the mass shooting in Norway. It was scheduled to air on 12/16/12—until the freakishly similar Sandy Hook shooting occurred two days beforehand. The episode was immediately replaced with a repeat. Not until almost a year later, in October 2013, did it finally air. Episodes featuring survivors of the Virginia Tech, Columbine, and other mass shootings weren't re-run for a long time, and the show's 2013 season premiere was considerably delayed.
  • Jack & Bobby had a flash-forward scene removed from an episode before it's airing after the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster because it mentioned the shuttle by name.
  • Only a few days after Hurricane Katrina hit, Jeopardy! aired three episodes featuring a contestant from New Orleans. A short clip was added before each episode of host Alex Trebek explaining that they had been taped before the storm hit, and that the show's production had confirmed that the contestant was safe and well.
  • The Season 3 premiere of The Last Ship was delayed after the Orlando nightclub shooting of June 12, 2016 due to a similar event occurring in a nightclub in the series.
  • Craig Ferguson had filmed a monologue for The Late Late Show that was mostly about Batman, to be aired on the US premiere date for The Dark Knight Rises. After the mass murders at an Aurora, CO theater, the monologue was replaced with Craig, sitting at his desk, sending condolences to friends and relatives of the victims.
    • The episode that aired the night of the Sandy Hook tragedy had been pre-recorded a week earlier and Ferguson was out of the country for his Christmas break, but apparently on his orders CBS cut out the traditional "it's a great day for America" monologue open.
  • The Legends episode "The Legend of Curtis Ballard" delayed its airing due to its depiction of a Muslim teenager shooting up a Paris school, which would have aired within a week of the terrorist attacks also committed in Paris.
  • Fox considered changing the name of the family on Married... with Children due to it being the same as infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. They were actually named for professional wrestler King Kong Bundy.
  • The M*A*S*H episode "The Life You Save", in which Winchester almost gets shot on a mission and enters an existential crisis, was supposed to air on March 30, 1981. However, that same day, President Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt, so it was rescheduled for May 4, serving as the season finale.
  • In 2015, an episode of Mastermind was temporarily pulled because one of the specialist subjects was the late Prime Minister Edward Heath, and news broke that very week that he had been implicated in allegations of historic sexual abuse. The episode aired later in the run.
  • Medium had a two-part episode about a shooting at the aerospace engineer husband's workplace and its aftermath. When the Virginia Tech massacre and the Johnson Space Center shooting occurred during the week between episodes (what the hell), the recap of the previous episode (including the shooting itself) was replaced by a brief lecture and an acknowledgment that "there's been enough shooting" from the two lead actors.
  • Four days after the Boston Marathon bombing, a MyNetworkTV rerun of the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man", which features a murderer using an alibi of being in the San Francisco Marathon at the time of the murder of his girlfriend, was quietly replaced with another episode without notice; it aired the next week.
  • The episode of Mr. Bean where he ends up looking after a baby had its premiere delayed by a few months due to the murder of James Bulger.
  • The first season finale of Mr. Robot was to involve an Evil Corps executive shooting himself during a news conference broadcast live. It was slated to air the day two Virginia news reporters were shot and killed by an ex-employee while reporting a news story on live television. The finale was postponed out of respect for the victims.
  • The episode of Muppets Tonight guest starring Sandra Bullock was delayed for months after the Oklahoma City bombing in the spring of 1995, since the episode was based around a parody of Speed in which a mysterious bomber was threatening to blow up the studio if the ratings went below 50.
  • Neighborhood Watch, an A&E reality series that looked like it was about overzealous watch-people, changed its name to Small-Town Security in the wake of the Trayvon Marting shooting by an overzealous watchman.
  • The second Season Finale of New Amsterdam (2018) was called "Pandemic". Since it was due to be broadcast in April 2020, during an actual global pandemic, it was pulled entirely and replaced by the Season 3 opener "Matter of Seconds".
    • Adding to the situation was the the episode would have guest-starred Daniel Dae Kim, who was afflicted by coronavirus himself.
  • The NUMB3RS (which is set in Los Angeles) episode "Thirty-Six Hours", which centers around a horrific collision between a passenger train and a freight train, was set to air on October 24, 2008, as the fourth episode of Season 5. On September 12, 2008, two weeks after filming concluded on the episode, a passenger train collided with a freight train near Los Angeles, becoming one of the worst rail disasters in the US in living memory. A decision was ultimately made to shift the episode later in the season to allow a little more time to pass (requiring a few edits to the script to maintain continuity). It ultimately aired on November 21, 2008, as the eighth episode of the season, and was preceded by a brief statement to warn viewers of the similarity to the real-life disaster.
  • The asadora (morning drama) series Oshin was rejected by several Japanese TV stations before NHK decided to air it. According to its script writer Sugako Hashida, this trope was the reason why:
    "The themes were so harsh and dark that the show was rejected by every television network. Even NHK opposed it. I was told 'We can't confront Meiji issues.'"note 
  • After Pee Wee Herman got arrested for indecent exposure at an X-rated movie theater, CBS pulled Pee-wee's Playhouse from their Saturday morning line-up (though at the time, the show was already over as Paul Reubens decided to end the show and move on, CBS was just airing reruns until the incident). In addition to this, Pee Wee Herman dolls were pulled from store shelves for the same reason.
  • Police, Camera, Action!, which edited out 2 pieces of footage from the 2007 episode "Less Lethal Weapons" where Michael Todd from the Greater Manchester Police was being shot at with a Taser to demonstrate its use. The Other Wiki has info on him here. The cut hasn't been reinstated since, and an In Memoriam at the end of the episode would have been far better judgment. This is a case of where this trope collides with Executive Meddling and, more possibly Fridge Brilliance. This is also a possible case of Harsher in Hindsight too.
  • In Police Squad!, one of the doomed guest stars was to have been John Belushi drowning with Cement Shoes on. This was filmed but never used owing to Belushi's Real Life death.
  • P.O.V.: A damaging controversy over explicit content in Tongues Untied, a documentary about what it's like to be black and gay which had been broadcast during the 1991 season, caused PBS to pull a scheduled national broadcast of Stop the Church, a documentary about an AIDS protest critical of the Catholic Church, which was supposed to be shown as part of P.O.V. on August 27. The documentary would ultimately be shown by individual stations the next month.
  • Power Rangers Ninja Storm had an episode in the queue about a Hate Plague Monster of the Week trying to start World War III by infecting everyone at a peace conference — then The War on Terror got rolling. The episode was pulled, and heavily edited to be about a city council meeting trying to increase energy efficiency, and aired later - way later. This means (1) there's a quest to acquire the ancient and powerful Turtle Mace some 20 episodes after it originally debuted by being used as if it had always been there, (2) apparently everyone except the first three Rangers had the day off, and (3) that is the most ethnically diverse city council ever.
  • The Price Is Right:
    • Not long after Katrina, a re-run was aired during which they gave away a trip to Mardi Gras. The prize package included a boat. CBS was quick on the draw; the re-aired episode was only shown west of the Rockies.
    • The show delayed the taping of its episodes after host Drew Carey's ex-wife Amie Harwick died after falling from a balcony.
  • The Professionals episode "Klansmen" was produced during season 1 but not shown on British TV for several years, due to the episode's controversial subject matter of far-Right violence. At the time, there were numerous street clashes between the NF and counter-protesters, including the 1977 "Battle of Lewisham".
  • Marvel was forced to pull a planned promotion for The Punisher (2017) from New York Comic-Con 2017 after a mass shooting took place in Las Vegas, Nevada less than a week earlier.
  • Two episodes of Red Dwarf (specifically "Dimension Jump" and "Meltdown") were shunted to the end of Series 4 of the series, because when they were due to air the Persian Gulf War was on, the former for fear that the character of Ace Rimmer would glamorize combat too much (however farcically), and "Meltdown" for its anti-war slant featuring the slaughter of hundreds of (robotic celebrity-wax) soldiers.
    • The repeat of "Rimmerworld" was also pushed back after the Dunblane massacre and Cat's quote (when following Rimmer's escape pod), "Form an orderly queue behind the gunsight".
  • The Route 66 episode "I'm Here to Kill a King", which deals with a political assassin, was originally scheduled to air on the night of November 29, 1963. After the real-life assassination of President John F. Kennedy exactly one week earlier, CBS pulled the episode from its schedule, and it was not seen until the show went into syndication.
  • Rudy Coby: The Coolest Magician on Earth was going to refer to the cardboard bomb at the end as the "Bomb of Death", but due to the Oklahoma city bombing that had just happened, they said "Doomsday Device of Death" instead.
  • TeenNick temporarily pulled repeats of Sam & Cat after the Manchester bombing at an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.
  • Former Saturday Night Live cast member and then-Senator Al Franken, who had been accused of sexual misconduct, had his appearance removed from a David Letterman tribute broadcast by PBS in November 2017 as a gesture of sensitivity to the growing #MeToo movement.note  That Charlie Rose, a PBS regular up to that point, had only hours earlier been kicked off the air by sexual misconduct allegations of his own only made the removal of Franken's performance during the tribute look more justified, even if the timing was coincidental (the decision to remove Franken's appearance had been made well before the allegations against Rose came out).
  • During the 2001 anthrax scare to spread the disease via mail, the episode of Seinfeld where Susan died from licking toxic envelope glue was temporarily removed.
    • Interestingly, the FBI concluded that the main culprit in those mail attacks was a disgruntled U.S. Army biodefense researcher who was angry that girls from nearby colleges wouldn't date him, and set the entire operation up as an elaborate revenge/murder-suicide plot. Harsher in Hindsight?
  • For Shake it Up, the premiere of the second season was supposed to be a 1-hour special to air on September 18, 2011, but the 1-hour episode was postponed due to a terrifying plane crash that happened that weekend at the Reno Air Show in Nevada (and the episode featured CeCe and Rocky flying on an airplane). However, it was replaced with a new episode that night and has been scheduled to air in early October.
  • WETA and WNET, two PBS affiliates, reran the Shining Time Station episode "The Mayor Runs For Re-Election", which guest starred a Richard Nixon impersonator named Richard Dixon, on April 27th, 1994, the day that Nixon's funeral took place. While the affiliates might have seen this as a tribute to him, 5 parents complained to the former station and 20 parents complained to the latter station. They both had to issue apologies the following day. This incident would cause the episode to be banned.
  • USA Network pushed the premiere of Shooter from July 19, 2016 to July 26, after a sniper murdered five policemen at an anti-police brutality protest in Dallas, TX on July 7. That the protagonist of the show was an Army veteran, as was said gunman, and an ex-sniper didn't help its case, nor did the premise that he's been framed for assassinating the U.S. President. That last point was one reason it was bumped even further back to that fall (the other was a similar Baton Rouge, LA shooting on July 17) — in the midst of the nasty, chaotic presidential election pitting Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton and fears over its outcome no matter who won.
  • Shortland Street: A scene from an early October 2009 episode involving a character returning from Samoa and boasting of sunshine and drinking on the beach had to be re-shot in the wake of the Samoan earthquake and tsunami.
    • Downplayed with the 20th anniversary feature-length episode, which featured a helicopter crash. A fatal helicopter crash occurred in the South Island just hours before the episode was due to air; pulling the episode would have caused huge disruption so the show went to air as planned with an added Content Warning.
  • Silent Witness had to postpone two episodes (about Pakistani gangs forcing underage girls into prostitution) of series fifteen, due to similarities to a high-profile case in the news.
  • The Channel 4 series Smuggled had its premiere postponed after 39 smuggled migrants were found dead in a lorry in Essex. The series was based around British nationals trying to smuggle their way into Britain to test its security.
  • The BBC downplayed this in 2005 when the fourth series of Spooks started - the opening two episodes revolved around a series of bombings in central London, barely two months after the July 7 bombings. The similarities between the episodes' plot and the real life bombings were sufficient enough to cause the Head of Drama and BBC One controller to agonise over whether to drop the episodes - both episodes went out unedited, but with warnings that they featured scenes that some viewers might have found disturbing.
  • Invoked In-Universe in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: The live comedy show was to feature a sketch about an incompetent robber taking hostages. Then, just as the show began, the producers learn about a similar event on the news, in which some of the hostages had died. The show quickly cancels the sketch before it airs, and proceeds with the next sketch. The writers come up with a new sketch to fill the time at the end of the show.
  • The Supergirl episode "How Does She Do It?" was postponed due to the plot involving Supergirl stopping a bunch of bombs from going off around National City. The episode was slated to air right after the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, leading to it being replaced with the episode that introduced Livewire.
  • Super Sentai has been hit with this at least a couple of times.
    • Chouriki Sentai Ohranger: The show's entire direction suffered from this, as the season had the unfortunate luck to come right between the Great Hanshin Earthquake and the 1995 Aum Shinrikyo sarin gas attacks. Some of the original premise of the story (involving superpowers and ancient civilizations) was considered to be too close to claims made by Aum Shinrikyo's leader about himself; and Toei thought that with all the recent tragedies in the news, viewers wouldn't feel like watching an intense and dramatic show. Ohranger was then ReTooled into something much more light-hearted. Because of resulting inconsistencies in tone between the first few episodes (that aired before the subway attacks) and the rest of the show, ratings suffered. It was thought to be the Franchise Killer for quite a time until it was revealed that Ohranger toy sales had reached record highs at the time, thus saving it from doom.
    • Engine Sentai Go-onger: Shortly after the debut of the Go-on Wings, whose primary weapons are the high-tech Rocket Daggers, the Akihabara massacre occurred, where a man stabbed at least a dozen people using a dagger. Afterwards, the toy versions were renamed "Rocket Boosters" and the Wings avoided calling their attacks for a while.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: The first episode featured a terminator trying to kill John in a high school, which coincided with the Virginia Tech event. The scene was kept on, but scenes featuring the students' reactions as if to a school shooting were removed.
  • Terrace House's 2020 season was cancelled after cast member Hana Kimura's suicide.
  • Defied by Top Gear when an episode in which the trio demonstrate the dangers of trying to drive across a level crossing while the gates are coming down by parking a car on some test track and crashing a train into it aired just two days after a fatal train wreck. Not everyone was happy about this, but the producers pointed out that they'd already had to delay the segment several times due to fatal train accidents caused by people being careless around level crossings, which were so prevalent that there was never going to be a time to air it that wouldn't be insensitive to someone.
  • In some kind of awkward aversion, the third season of United States of Tara had in one of its plotlines Kate wanting to teach English in Japan. She wants to go to Tokyo, however, an earthquake hits the country making her change her plans. The episode aired April 11, 2011, exactly one month after the fatal earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region. The episodes were written and produced in late 2010, and screenwriter Diablo Cody apologized on Tumblr beforehand.
  • Wheel of Fortune has several examples, mostly due to certain things happening between the tape date and air date:
    • A rather unfortunate example was a 1992 episode that had VANNA'S PREGNANT as a puzzle (in reference to hostess Vanna White). She miscarried not long after it taped, so the only choice they had was to edit out the entire round, and replace it with a segment about San Francisco (where they were taping at the time).
    • In May 2001, they had ROBERT BLAKE AS BARETTA as a puzzle on an episode that aired shortly after he was accused of shooting his wife. They had to dub in a clip of host Pat Sajak explaining the situation.
    • Wheel was taping on location in New Orleans right before Hurricane Katrina hit. They got two weeks done, and had to cancel a third (although all of the contestants slated for that third week eventually did get to play). Two episodes from the first taped week had entire puzzles edited out because it was thought that their answers might be insensitive to hurricane victims. In their place, viewers saw clips of Pat and Vanna promoting Katrina relief funds.
    • In November 2006, they used THE CROCODILE HUNTER on an episode that ended up airing right after Steve Irwin died. Once again, a clip was dubbed in of Pat explaining the situation.
    • On a lighter note, something similar occurred when THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN came up just after O'Brien left the show in the wake of the Jay Leno Show debacle, which ended with Leno returning to his old stomping grounds.
    • On December 2, 2013, they used THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS as a puzzle just two days after Paul Walker died. Although the events were not mentioned in-show, the staff did make note of the unfortunate circumstances via Facebook, as did Sajak via Twitter.
    • A week or two of episodes themed around Texas were filmed before Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Each of them was preceded by a short clip of Pat and Vanna explaining this.
    • Similarly, another episode (not during the weeks above) had a contestant win a trip to the "untouched beauty" of Puerto Rico, before Hurricane Maria and the government's... lackluster response. A message at the bottom of the screen explained this.
  • A rerun of the You Can't Do That on Television episode "Enemies and Paranoia" on U-Pick Live in 2004 was replaced by a rerun of The Fairly Oddparents because of the episode having a lot of jokes about Ronald Regan, who had recently died.
  • TLC delayed the first episode of reality series Best Funeral Ever from December 27, 2012 to January 6, 2013 following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
  • In June 2017, NBC moved episode the 6th episode in the third season of The Carmichael Show, "Shoot-Up-Able" to June 28, 2017 following mass shootings at the Republican Congress baseball game and at a UPS facility in San Francisco, with "Lesbian Wedding" airing on the former episode's original air date.
  • The 2nd episode of Documentary Now!, Dronez: The Hunt For El Chingon depicts two different instances, both Played for Laughs, of journalists being murdered, while working, on camera, was postponed for a week after a Roanoke, Virginia TV reporter and cameraman were murdered live on the air by a former colleague a day before the scheduled debut, with IFC airing Kunuk Uncovered in its place instead.
  • The 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival specials scheduled to air October 4 and October 5 on The CW were postponed the day after the Las Vegas shooting, which took place over a week after the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Festival itself, due to the fact that the Route 91 Harvest festival utilized the same Las Vegas Village lot that iHeart did for the daytime stage. The specials eventually aired on November 22 and 24, respectively.

TV Movies and Screenings:

  • A showing of Child's Play 3 was pulled from British TV screens in the fallout from the James Bulger murder. The murderers (children themselves) had reportedly watched it prior to committing the crime, and their actions bore some similarities to those of Chuckie in the film. This led to a period of demonization of the Child's Play series in the media, reacting as though the films actively encouraged murder.
  • In the wake of the Columbine massacre, Lifetime removed a scheduled airing of Death of a Cheerleader, a TV movie about an outcast who murders a popular girl for not wanting to be friends with her.
  • In June 2017 a showing of The Towering Inferno was pulled from British TV because two days previously 72 people had died in a fire in the Grenfell Tower in north London.

Alternative Title(s): Live Action TV


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