Jill Golick has a great post on “Six Unforgettable TV Sex Scenes.” All of them, of course, are from cable or non-U.S. TV, where you actually show the sex scene instead of cutting away (with the possible exception of Mad Men).
That got me thinking about the question: what was the first prime-time TV series that actually showed a sex scene — not necessarily an explicit sex scene, just two people having sex without cutting away, even if they were partially obscured or covered? This is one aspect of TV history that I’m not all that up on. (Or is it “on which I’m not all that up?”) Some of the early USA network programs got some publicity for having sex scenes, albeit no nudity of any kind — remember Silk Stalkings? — and NYPD Blue was the first non-cable show whose sex scenes I remember being a subject of controversy for being something like actual sex scenes. But obviously none of those were even remotely the first. But what was?