FCC fines ABC over 'NYPD Blue'; network to appeal

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Federal Communications Commission on Friday said it plans to fine the Walt Disney Co’s ABC network $1.4 million for airing an episode of “NYPD Blue” in 2003 that showed a woman’s nude buttocks.

The company said it opposes the fine and plans to appeal.

In a notice filed on Friday, the agency said 52 television ABC stations in the Central and Mountain time zones had aired the scene at 9 p.m. in violation of federal restrictions against broadcasting “obscene material” between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The agency said it received “numerous complaints” about the scene, in which a young boy walks in on a nude woman about to take a shower.

Stations in the Eastern and Pacific time zones were exempt because they broadcast the February 25, 2003, episode at 10 p.m. local time.

ABC said in a statement that it had broadcast the episode and others from the cop drama, which ran from 1993 to 2005, with appropriate parental warnings and with V-chip enabled program ratings when they were available.

The network added that the show had been on the air for nearly a decade when the episode in question aired “and the realistic nature of its storylines was well known to the viewing public.”

Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Gary Hill