CW’s Reign Will Offer Racier Version of Episodes Online

Posted by at 5:01 pm on March 5, 2014

ReignThe CW’s Reign is ready to court some more controversy with a bold experiment that could be a new way for broadcasters to release edgy TV shows.

In what could be a network TV first, The CW will present two versions of this week’s episode — an on-air cut that meets broadcast content standards and an uncensored “too hot for TV” version that will stream exclusively online. The difference between the versions? The editing of two sex scenes.

The CW, which targets adults 18-34, would not comment on what exactly happens in the Reign scenes, but a spokesperson noted the network is not adding R-rated content here — just offering a more sexually intense edit of the existing program. One scene is at the start of the episode and the other is near the end. The latter involves Mary, Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane), who this week chooses between King Henry II’s two sons who have been vying for her love. The on-air version will air Thursday at 9 p.m.; the online version will be posted on The CW’s site Friday morning.

As Reign fans know, this is hardly the first time the period drama has raised eyebrows. Reign previously made headlines with a female masturbation scene in its pilot rough cut that was subsequently toned down for broadcast. The dual-release strategy could have been used to resolve that issue but an insider says this method simply hadn’t been considered yet. Future Reign episodes include a character dying during sex and a threesome.

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