The Federal Communications Commission reduced a record $3.6-million indecency fine against CBS stations for an episode of "Without a Trace" after learning eight outlets aired the show after 10 p.m.
The FCC order, which reduces the proposed fine to about $3.35 million, means the penalty is no longer the largest ever sought by the agency. Federal rules bar broadcasters from airing indecent material from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., when children are thought to be most likely to watch.
"The FCC determined that the stations in question broadcast the show after 10 p.m., so we canceled the notice for those stations," FCC spokesman David Fiske said Thursday.
The proposed fine against more than 100 CBS stations and affiliates was first levied by the FCC, led by Chairman Kevin J. Martin, March 15 as part of a package of more than 40 cases. The "Without a Trace" episode depicted a teen orgy without showing nudity. CBS spokeswoman Shannon Jacobs said at the time that the network planned to ask the FCC to review the fine.