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The History of Sex on Television

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Extra: TV Guide is pulling back the sheets on the evolution of nudity, sexual content and censorship on American television -- in a special airing Sunday at 8:00 PM ET/PT called "Sex on TV."

Check out "Extra's" list of some of the most shocking and history-making moments in television.

The History of Sex on Television

First Married Couple on TV to Share a Bed

While many think that "Ozzie and Harriet" were the first onscreen couple to share a bed, it was actually "Mary Kay and Johnny." The "Mary Kay and Johnny" show made its television debut November 18, 1947 and was also the first television series to show a woman's pregnancy. Mary Kay and Johnny were also married off-screen.

'I Dream of Jeannie'

This 1960s American sitcom pushed the envelope by showing the star, Barbara Eden, in bikini tops -- which was considered risque at that time.


Samantha and Darrin Stephens (Dick York was the first Darrin, later played by Dick Sargent) from the 1964 ABC sitcom "Bewitched," were the first onscreen couple to share a bed and not be married off-screen, seen here with Sam's mother, Endora (played by Agnes Moorehead.

First Interracial Kiss

An episode of "Star Trek" that aired in 1968 made heads turn when they showed what is cited as the first interracial kiss -- between Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura.

'Gilligan's Island'

The 1960s series often showed Mary Ann baring her midriff, while Ginger showed off her cleavage. Neither actress was ever allowed to show both on television.


PBS pushed the envelope in 1973 when the network aired the first international female nipple during a production of the Bruce Jay Friedman play, "Steambath."

First Televised Girl-on-Girl Kiss

In 1991 "L.A. Law" aired the first kiss between two women. Amanda Donohoe played C.J., a bisexual lawyer, who kissed a female colleague.

"NYPD Blue"

When "NYPD Blue" first aired in 1993 it caused quite a stir. Word got out that it contained nudity and sexual content, which caused many organizations to boycott the show and several ABC affiliates refused to air the first episode.

Surprise Smooth

During a taping of the "Today" show in 1999 two men starting making out while being interviewed by Al Roker.

"Will and Grace"

Characters Will Truman and Jack McFarland followed the lead of the "Today" show male couple and made a parody of their kiss during an episode of "Will and Grace."

"Dawson's Creek"

In 2001, "Dawson's Creek" was the first show to air a passionate male-on-male kiss.

"Sex and the City"

HBO hit "Sex and the City" showcased women being as sexual as men, but still stayed away from showing full frontal male nudity.

Wardrobe Malfunction

It's hard to forget Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's performance at the 2004 Super Bowl. The FCC went crazy when her breast was exposed on live national television during the half-time show.

Something to Gossip About

After the first season of "Gossip Girl" in 2008, advertisers took the words of critics and turned them into a racy campaign ad. Displayed on billboards and commercials were steamy shots of the stars paired with quotes about the inappropriateness of the show.

next: Notes from Bedrest: One Billion Bottles of Beer on the Wall
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