CBS goes on the defensive over “Kid”

Reality shows might need to court controversy to succeed, but a spreading hubbub around CBS’ “Kid Nation” suggests that sometimes execs need to be careful what they wish for.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Actors (AFTRA) said Friday that it will probe whether producers of “Kid Nation” violated their union contract with harsh treatment of amateur kid performers on the CBS reality show, set to premiere September 19. . . .

Amid earlier reports of concerns over the kids’ treatment on location, CBS characterized “Kid Nation” as “a voluntary television experience.”

As opposed to those involuntary ones, I guess.