The Shield, a gritty new police drama, on cable television earned rave reviews from critics. It is not, however, such a hit with the Parents Television Council.

A campaign waged by the watchdog PTC prompted Burger King, Tricon Global Restaurants, which owns Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut to yank their advertising on the cable series.

Said by Mark Honig, Executive Director of Parents Television Council, to be more graphic than anything seen in the past on basic cable, "it's not even NYPD Blue. It's more R-rated and its advertisers support it."

When NYPD Blue premiered in September of 1993, it was the first of its kind for Network Television. With its nudity and strong language, it was the type of show one would expect to find only on premium stations such as HBO or Cinemax.

A spokesman for Daily Variety stated that although a handful of advertisers have opted out of the show, new ones have come in to replace them.

Anheuser-Busch was reported by Hollywood trade papers to have pulled its advertising as well. but sources within the company say they have not done so.

The Shield premiered in March of this year, scoring kudos from critics and breaking cable records for an original drama. Notching a 4.1 household rating. By early April. however, ratings tumbled to 2.2. The FX Network faults cutbacks in promotional costs for the slip.

Representatives for FX remain undaunted by the ad defections saying that the show is still 75 percent sold for its first 13 episodes.

The Representatives also point out that nearly all the show's viewers are 18 and older. This, the reps feel, serves as proof that warnings about the adult content of the show are being heeded.