PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Fox’s entertainment chief said Tuesday that the network did not change the content of “The Following,” its upcoming drama about a serial killer, because of the Connecticut school shooting or other real-life acts of violence.
The drama, featuring Kevin Bacon chasing a grisly killer who recruits murderous disciples, is simultaneously the most stomach-churning and most anticipated new dramas on television’s docket. Debuting Jan. 21 on Fox, the Kevin Williamson-created series opens by showing the bloody aftermath of knifed prison guards, has a woman commit suicide by gouging her eye and piercing her skull with an ice pick, and shows a man set on fire at a coffee stand.
While Kevin Reilly, Fox entertainment chairman, initially said the series’ promotion wasn’t affected, a spokesman later noted that some ads for the show were softened immediately following the Connecticut shooting. Electronic billboards depicting a woman with an ice pick were changed to pictures of Bacon, said Fox’s Joe Earley. Some on-air ads with action sequences were also changed to focus on Bacon, and Fox combed its promotions to make sure none of them depicted actors with guns, Earley said.