Fox chairman Kevin Reilly firmly stated that the network does not glorify violence in its new series, "The Following". The Fox boss said the team will not change or tone down the content of the Kevin Williamson-directed series despite recent real-life tragedies like the Newtown shooting. The serial-killer thriller has gained instant notoriety for its gruesome scenes and violent storyline.
"I think in general there have been more violent shows on TV," Reilly said at this year's Television Critics Association press tour. "Clearly there is appetite, people like these things... [but] this show adheres to broadcast standards."
Reilly further argued that shows such as "The Following" should not be blamed for real-world violence. "Everyone is... wanting to put a finger on one thing that's the problem," he said. "We are just in an age of complex issues. It's no one simple thing."
During the cast's panel interview with the TCA, Willaimson and the show's lead, Kevin Bacon, both defended the show. "We don't sit around and think of ways to kill people," said Williamson. "I'm sitting and thinking of the drama. It's meant to be a thriller and a provocative story." Bacon added that the show has "a lot of great heart and even sentimentality".
Bacon plays retired FBI agent Ryan Hardy whose mission was to bring an old nemesis, serial killer Joe Carroll played by James Purefoy, back behind bars. The new Fox psycho-drama from Williamson, best known for his 1996 film "Scream" and the supernatural drama TV series "The Vampire Diaries", airs on January 22.