FIRST OFF . . .
The highly rated “Captain Power” cartoon series, television’s first “interactive” program using computer technology, has hired a psychiatrist in response to concerns that the syndicated show is too violent for young viewers. Psychiatrist Carole Lieberman was retained by “Captain Power” Executive Producer Gary Goddard after she independently studied the program and complained about its violent content. The show had also been criticized in a study by the National Coalition on Television Violence for its interactive format, which allows children to “shoot” villains by aiming a specially purchased toy gun at bright orange dots on the screen. “The image of a kid coming home to an empty house, sitting in a dark room and shooting at a television set is a very disturbing one,” said Lieberman, who has served as a psychiatric script consultant on more than 100 TV and movie productions. Lieberman said the series will be decreasing the amount and length of violence by trimming the running time of the battle scenes. The changes will take place in varying degrees in some of the last episodes being produced for the current season and will be heeded in all episodes of next fall’s season, Goddard said.