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Press Release

October 29, 2007

PTC Rates the Most Popular Broadcast TV Shows Watched by Kids

Reality & Game Shows Named Most Suitable


LOS ANGELES (October 29, 2007) – The Parents Television Council™ released its annual ranking of the 20 most popular prime time broadcast television shows among children ages 2-17, based on Nielsen Media Research rankings.  The PTC rated the shows from best to worst for family viewing based on a comprehensive analysis of program content and found an increase since last year in the presence of family friendly programs, but noted that such programs are exclusively reality and game shows.  Of the 20 shows most-watched by children, only seven were scripted series, and six of those appeared on the worst list. Fox’s Family Guy was named the worst program for young audiences.


“The PTC analyzed the 20 broadcast television shows children watch most and found the cleanest content on reality and game shows.  For the second year in a row, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has been named the most family-friendly series watched by children during prime time on broadcast television.  The fact that children are drawn to programs like ABC’s Extreme Makeover and game shows like Deal or No Deal  and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? proves that there is market demand for family-friendly television programming.  Sadly that demand is still underserved,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“By contrast, the shows on the worst list continually reach new lows when it comes to harsh language, excessive violence and explicit sex.  Programs like the sci-fi drama Heroes, that includes a comic book aspect, and animated shows like American Dad and Family Guy may sound innocent enough, but they are serving up some of the most inappropriate content on broadcast television that kids are consuming.  On NBC’s series Heroes, viewers are introduced to a character who commits unspeakable acts of violence and sexual deviance while under the control of her ‘heroic’ alter ego.  Meanwhile, Family Guy and American Dad put irreverence on parade on a weekly basis while relentlessly breaking taboos with sexual content and cartoon violence.  Parents must be more aware of what is out there, both in terms of what is good and what is bad for their children.


“The broadcast networks see the same Nielsen statistics that we do.  They know full well how many children are in the viewing audience, and they not only do nothing to curb the high levels of inappropriate content, but they actually encourage children to watch by saturating earlier dayparts with endless promos.  Television advertisers must also step up to the plate and take greater care when they make their sponsorship decisions,” Winter concluded.


Using its traffic-light ratings system, the PTC analyzed the 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 2007 Parents Television Council 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/8:00 p.m. ET Sundays


3. Deal or No Deal

NBC/8:00 p.m. ET Wednesdays and Fridays


4.  Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Fox/8:00 p.m. ET Thursdays


5.  The Singing Bee

NBC/8:00 p.m. ET Tuesdays


6.  Don’t Forget the Lyrics

Fox/9:00 p.m. ET Thursdays


7. American Idol

Fox/Returning Spring ‘08


8. Supernanny

ABC/9:00 p.m. ET Mondays


9. America’s Funniest Home Videos

ABC/7:00 p.m. ET Sundays


10. Dancing with the Stars

ABC/8:00 p.m. ET Mondays, 9:00 p.m. ET Tuesdays


11. So You Think You Can Dance

Fox/Returning Spring ‘08


12. Amazing Race

CBS/Returning Spring ‘08


13. Survivor

CBS/8:00 p.m. ET Thursdays


14. The Simpsons

Fox/8:00 p.m. ET Sundays



15. House

Fox/9:00 p.m. ET Tuesdays


16. Grey’s Anatomy

ABC/9:00 p.m. ET Thursdays


17. Heroes

NBC/9:00 p.m. ET Mondays


18. C.S.I.

CBS/9:00 p.m. ET Thursdays


19. American Dad

Fox/9:30 p.m. ET Sundays


20. Family Guy

Fox/9:00 p.m. ET Sundays


To read the expanded reviews of these shows, Click Here.


To schedule an interview with a PTC representative, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

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 more than 1.3 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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