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Press Release

October 31, 2006

The Cleanest TV Shows for Children are Reality Shows?

PTC Releases its Ratings of the Top 20 Most Popular Prime Time Broadcast TV Shows Watched by Children


LOS ANGELES (October 31, 2006) – The Parents Television Council™ released its own analysis of the 20 most popular prime time broadcast shows with children ages 2-17, according to a ranking by Nielsen Media Research, finding that, remarkably, some of the best and most age-appropriate shows for children to watch today are reality, or non-scripted, shows.  The PTC™ analysis also found that none of the scripted shows in the top 20 are appropriate due to the high levels of sex, violence and profanity.


"Of the most popular broadcast television shows watched by children, the best and cleanest shows are reality shows.  And children are in fact flocking to shows with positive values, like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, or wholesome content like American IdolEvery single scripted show that children watch is characterized by graphic sexual content, violence, and coarse language," said L. Brent Bozell, president of the PTC.


"Parents must be more concerned about what their children are watching. In addition, parents need to be wary about innocent-sounding television shows, such as Family Guy or American Dad.  They are among the worst when it comes to pushing the limits of decency with heavy sexual innuendo, sexual themes, and coarse language.


"Even though there are few choices for families, many children are watching more age-appropriate shows.  This contradicts the prevailing industry attitude that programming has to push the limits of gratuitous content to attract an audience.  If the television industry offered more family-friendly television programs, it is likely that children would watch."


Using its traffic-light ratings system, the PTC analyzed these 20 most popular prime time broadcast shows among children, ranking the programs according to their suitability for young viewers.  Each series was rated as suitable [green], questionably suitable [yellow], or not suitable [red] for young audiences, and then ranked individually from best to worst.  PTC ratings are based on an objective quantitative and qualitative analysis of the frequency and explicitness of foul language, sexual content, and violence present in each series.  The PTC also takes into consideration time slot, target audience, themes and plotlines of each program it rates.


The Parents Television Council's Ratings of the Top 20 Most Popular Prime Time Broadcast TV Shows Watched by Children Ages 2-17:


Most Suitable

(Best to Worst)

Questionably Suitable

(Best to Worst)

Not Suitable

(Best to Worst)


1. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

ABC/8:00 p.m. ET Sundays


2. NBC Sunday Night Football

NBC/7:00 p.m. ET Sundays


3. Deal or No Deal

NBC/8:00 p.m. ET Mondays and 9:00 p.m. ET Thursdays


4. American Idol

Fox/Returning Spring '07


5. Dancing with the Stars

ABC/8:00 p.m. ET Tuesdays


6. American Inventor

ABC/Returning Spring ‘07


7. So You Think You Can Dance

Fox/Returning Spring ‘07


8. The Simpsons

Fox/8:00 p.m. ET Sundays


9. America's Got Talent 

NBC/Returning Spring ‘07


10. Biggest Loser

NBC/9:00 p.m. ET Wednesdays


11. Survivor

CBS/8:00 p.m. ET Thursdays


12. Lost

ABC/9:00 p.m. ET Wednesdays


13. House

Fox/9:00 p.m. ET Tuesdays


14. The War at Home

Fox/8:30 p.m. ET Sundays


15. Grey's Anatomy

ABC/9:00 p.m. Thursdays


16. Prison Break

Fox/8:00 p.m. ET Mondays


17. American Dad

Fox/9:30 p.m. ET Sundays


18. Family Guy

Fox/9:00 p.m. ET Sundays


19. Desperate Housewives

ABC/9:00 p.m. ET Sundays


20. C.S.I.

CBS/9:00 p.m. ET Thursdays



To read the expanded reviews of these shows, please visit www.parentstv.org or click here.


The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has over one million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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