Fox to Revise School Violence Scenes

By LYNN ELBER
The Associated Press
Sunday, July 22, 2007; 6:44 PM

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Scenes of campus violence in a new Fox drama based on "The Terminator" movies were filmed before the Virginia Tech shootings and will be revised, a network executive said Sunday.

"The Sarah Connor Chronicles," scheduled for midseason, follows Connor (Lena Headey) as she tries to safeguard her 15-year-old son, John (Thomas Dekker), who may be destined to save mankind from technology gone amok.

Even before a gunman killed 32 people and himself at Virginia Tech in April, executive producer Josh Friedman carefully explained his reasons for the segment in which John comes under attack at high school, Fox Entertainment Chairman Peter Liguori said.

Friedman painted it as central to the show's theme, he said.

"This woman is charged with protecting and preparing her son to be the future leader of the resistance. The one single place a parent has to give up control of their child is school," Liguori told a meeting of the Television Critics Association.

Friedman was the first to acknowledge the scene should be revamped after the Virginia tragedy, Liguori said. He didn't detail how extensively it would be changed.

The executive was asked whether TV should consider avoiding such fictional violence, given that school shootings are a recurring problem.

"Creative questions are answered on an ad hoc basis, not on a broad one, and we need to respect our audience," he replied.

The drama, with a woman as its central hero, is being introduced at midseason to take advantage of the increase in female viewers that Fox generally enjoys when "American Idol" returns in January, Liguori said.

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Fox TV is a unit of News Corp.

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