CBS brass tone down 'Helter Skelter'

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- CBS brass asked producers to tone down the violence in an upcoming TV adaptation of the best-seller "Helter Skelter," the Los Angeles Times said Monday.

CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves asked producers to scale back the violence in the film after he saw a director's cut last Thursday with other CBS executives, the newspaper reported. The three-hour adaptation of former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's account of the infamous Charles Manson murders is scheduled to air on CBS during the upcoming May ratings sweeps.


The book was first adapted for TV in 1976, when CBS aired a two-part miniseries starring Steve Railsback as Manson -- the charismatic leader of a "family" of misfits who carried out grizzly murders of several people, including actress Sharon Tate, in 1969.

Citing "several people familiar with the situation," the Times reported Moonves and other CBS executives were particularly concerned about the depictions of the slayings in the new version, which stars Jeremy Davies as Manson.

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