Look back in history and check any TV award show, chances are 85% of the awards came from HBO. This was back in the days of Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, Sopranos etc etc. A lot of people argued that HBO had an unfair advantage over network TV and basic cable stations because they felt the ability to curse and show nudity added more to fleshing out a scene or storyline. At first I agreed with them, ok think of a scene with Samantha in SATC, completely nekkid and saying everything uncensored and when she describes to her friends, you kinda have a feel like you were there. Now think of Friends, first off we are not gonna get a scene, just an edited description the next day at the coffee house. Comparing the two, SATC just has more of an effect.
Eventually, I changed my mind. I do think nudity and cursing is an advantage but you just have to have a great script to back it up. Case in point : HBO's "Tell Me You Love Me". I swear that show had a sex scene every 5 seconds and I am like "what the hell is this show about?", basically the script was not strong enough. All the aforementioned shows were good, not because of the N&C but because they ALSO had great scripts. Tide has turned now, the best tv shows are not on HBO anymore - Lost,Brothers & Sisters, 30 Rock, The Closer etc - all this shows don't have the benefit of N&C and you know why?...Yup you guessed it, they have superb scripts :D