According to a Jan. 9 report from the Daily Herald, the Kevin Williamson-created thriller, which stars Kevin Bacon, shows some gruesome scenes for a show airing on network television. Examples include a woman committing suicide with an ice pick through her eye; a man set on fire at a coffee stand; and the bloody aftermath of prison guards knifed to death.
Reilly said that the promotion of the new series was not affected by the Newtown tragedy, but a spokesman said he noticed that some of the electronic advertising seemed “softened.” Advertisements that showed a woman with an ice pick were changed to pictures of Bacon, said Chief Operating Officer Joe Earley. Some television advertisements focused more on Bacon’s character and seemed like they were combined to not depict any characters with guns.
Williamson, who was also the creator of the “Scream” movies, said he was traumatized by the Newtown massacre.
“I know it affected me,” Williamson said. “I know what happens in the real world affects me. So when I take pen to paper, there is a reaction to it and it sort of finds its way into what I do.”
Williamson said he is unsure how the tragedy will affect his show.
“It just happened,” he said. “We'll see.”
Reilly said that there have been shows that have been more violent than “The Following.” However, they have gone unnoticed due to being poorly made.
Violence in the entertainment industry has been a big topic since the Newtown shooting. Reilly said when it comes to violent media, people “can’t be reactionary and you can’t draw a direct linkage.”
Fox is looking to provide entertainment that will make you laugh or be your worst nightmare, Reilly said. The channel has been struggling in recent years, but Reilly said he is hoping to see it make a comeback.
“It's a goal of mine to get the Fox back into Fox,” he said. “Before there was cable, Fox was cable.”
“The Following” premieres Monday, Jan. 21, on Fox.