The fine has been levied on the television stations and so it should be. Ultimately, they are the ones responsible for their programming. But I wonder if the television stations have reason to sue the staff of Without A Trace. It's my understanding that the producers of the show are the ones who rate their own programs for television. For the producers to tell the television stations that this show was self-rated and found to be allowable for television, shows a serious misrepresentation of their product, not just a little flub.
From an email sent by American Family Association:
You did it! FCC fines CBS $3.6 million for 'Without A Trace'
In January, 2005, we asked you to join us in filing formal complaints against CBS and their affiliate stations for broadcasting Without A Trace, complete with an extended teen-age orgy scene. Within days, 165,997 AFA on-line supporters had filed formal complaints with the FCC.
This week, the FCC announced it agrees with you and is fining 111 CBS stations 32,500 each for broadcasting this indecency. This major accomplishment happened because you took action! This is the largest fine ever against the networks and their stations.
In addition, the FCC reaffirmed a $550,000 fine against CBS for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at the 2004 Super Bowl.
I want to thank you for taking time to get involved. This proves we can make a difference when we join together!