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PBS Cancels "SEX! With Ruff Ruffman"
BOSTON, Mass. (CAP) - Officials for the Public Broadcasting Service have announced that the remaining episodes of SEX! With Ruff Ruffman will not air on PBS Kids GO! However, the network does plan to make the episodes available for special order on DVD.
"The overall response to our market testing was mixed at best," said PBS Board of Directors member Donald Boswell. "The show scored very well with pre-teen boys, especially the couple of episodes that featured that cute little early-bloomer Carolyn.
"But from a strictly business perspective, we didn't capture enough of the audience to warrant bumping another show to make room," said Boswell.
The show is a spin-off of the popular PBS offering FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman, and while it targets roughly the same age group, the focus of the show is decidedly different. The original press release for the show described it as "real kids, real condoms, real sex."
"And really flabbergasting," said Parents Television Council President Timothy Winter, whose group immediately gave the show a 'red light' rating. "How a publicly-funded company can get away with such programming is beyond me. What's next, a menage a trois with Matt, Jackie and Inez?"
However, the show's producers defended their program, saying that with children having sexual relations at increasingly younger ages, it would be "irresponsible for an educational network not to tackle the topic of our children's sexual activity just because it may be difficult or taboo."
"As with any PBS program, we strongly encourage parents to watch with their children, and help answer the inevitable questions that will arise," said Executive Producer Kate Taylor. "And then the learning continues with the exercises and activities that the show provides."
A total of six episodes of SEX! were filmed, but only two aired in test markets in Los Angeles, Miami and Detroit. All six will be available on DVD as early as next month. Orders can be placed on pbskids.org.
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