Doc (ITV/ranked #2 last season)
Doc is a fish-out-of-water story about a country doctor who moves to New
York City and gets a job at a busy HMO. Dr. Clint Cassidy's homespun values and
friendly disposition provide a contrast to the jaded and impersonal city
environment, but he refuses to let the harsh world in which he lives harden him,
or make him forget the values of kindness and compassion instilled in him as a
child. Instead, he spreads those life lessons to all with whom he comes in
contact, making Doc an uplifting and inspirational program.
Episodes abound with themes of patriotism, brotherly love, and hope. On
Veteran's Day, Doc paid tribute to the heroes of 9-11 and to America's
veterans with a special episode entitled "Some Gave All." On Mother's Day, the
series paid tribute to mothers everywhere with a special, life-affirming
Doc has been recognized for its pro-faith themes, earning Movieguide's "Faith
and Freedom" award for consistently teaching Biblical principles.
Touched By an Angel (CBS/ranked #1 last season)
Touched By an Angel's overarching themes of faith and God's love for all
people continue to be the cornerstones of this wonderful family series about
angels who have come to earth to help mortals.
For seven seasons, Touched by an Angel has dealt with complex family and
social issues with grace, dignity, and a strong moral sense. Although episodes
deal with topics ranging from alcoholism to school violence to the dangers of
teen rave parties, each is dealt with responsibly, and every episode concludes
with a message of hope and the promise of God's unceasing love and forgiveness.
Other issues addressed this season include foreign adoption, caring for elderly
parents, the life-saving benefits of organ donation, and the aftermath of 9-11.
3) Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (WB/ranked #4 last season)
Sabrina is a wholesome, inoffensive, and entertaining half-hour series centering
on a cheerful teenaged girl who just happens to have been born a witch. Unlike
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other dark teen-targeted series in which normal,
mortal teenagers become involved with witchcraft and the occult, Sabrina's
innocent treatment of magic is reminiscent of Bewitched, Mary Poppins,
or even My Favorite Martian.
Episodes rarely (if ever) contain any material that parents might find
objectionable and generally conclude with a lesson or moral that reinforces
positive values such as honesty, responsibility, the value of education, and the
importance of family.
4) 7th Heaven (WB/ranked #3 last season)
7th Heaven continues to be the WB's highest-rated program, even after six
seasons. This drama, which focuses on life in the nine-member Camden household,
provides a refreshing look at a functional, traditional American family. The
Rev. Eric Camden and his wife, Annie, have created an atmosphere conducive to
honesty, which proves especially helpful as their seven children, who range from
college age to toddlers, are confronted with difficult issues and circumstances.
While addressing topics such as premarital sex and peer pressure, these parents
are eager to provide wise counsel along with love and understanding.
One particularly moving episode this season paid tribute to a real American
hero, Staff Sgt. Dwight J. Morgan, who died in the war on terror. Each member of
the Camden family honored Sgt. Morgan's memory by serving others: Lucy and Mary
laid flowers on forgotten graves, Eric gave the shoes off his feet to a homeless
man, and Simon brought breakfast to a Marine recruiter.
Baby Bob (CBS/first season)
In spite of its silly premise -- the infant Bob shocks his parents by speaking
like a middle-aged man -- Baby Bob is a warm, inoffensive family show
that parents can feel comfortable letting their children watch. Episodes are
devoid of foul language and violence, and only once have contained mild sexual
innuendo. In addition, episodes frequently conclude with a moral that is as
relevant for adult viewers as it is for children.
6) Smallville (WB/first season)
Smallville provides a twist on the traditional teen coming-of-age drama.
In this series, the teenager is the young Superman, who fell to earth during a
meteor shower and is endowed with superhuman powers.
Smallville presents a positive picture of family life. Clark Kent's
loving adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha, provide him with wise counsel and
guidance, and instill in him the morals and values that guide him as a hero. By
contrast, Clark's friend, Lex Luthor, the man who will eventually become his
nemesis, has been raised by the emotionally distant, even cruel, Lionel Luthor,
who teaches his son only to be selfish and avaricious.
Although episodes have contained mild sexual innuendo and comic-book-style
violence, the overall themes of good triumphant over evil, the importance of
helping others, and the moral imperative for those who are strong to aid the
weak is unique in today's television landscape.
7) Reba (WB/first season)
Country superstar Reba McEntire stars in this sitcom about an all-American
dysfunctional family. The Hart family was shaken to the core when Reba's husband
Brock left her after 20 years of marriage to marry Barbara Jean, his pregnant
girlfriend. The family was further shaken when Reba's 17-year-old daughter,
Cheyenne, became pregnant and married her dimwitted high school boyfriend, Van.
Reba tries to remain in control of her situation while raising her younger son
and daughter and giving advice to the newlyweds, who also live with her.
Despite the themes of adultery and teen pregnancy that make this series
inappropriate for younger viewers, Reba does contain some positive messages.
Reba is a strong, responsible mother, providing Cheyenne and Van with advice on
marriage and parenting. Although no longer living with his children, Brock is
still very much involved with them, and treats his ex-wife with love, care, and
8) The Ponderosa (ITV/first season)
The Ponderosa is a prequel to the classic western series Bonanza, which aired on
NBC from 1959 to 1973, and follows the early years of the Cartwright family on
their ranch, the Ponderosa, in 1840s Nevada. Ben Cartwright heads the family as
the widowed father of three boys: Hoss, Adam, and a pre-teen Little Joe. Ben is
an upstanding citizen who tries to give his sons a solid moral foundation.
9) George Lopez (ABC/first season)
This series centers on George Lopez, a manager at a Los Angeles airplane
parts factory. George and his wife, Angie, are loving parents to their two
children, Carmen and Max.
George Lopez stands out for its positive depiction of a minority family,
its strong family values, and the important lessons imparted in each episode.
Although episodes have contained some mild sexual innuendo and mild foul
language, the overriding themes are overwhelmingly positive.
10) Bernie Mac (Fox/first season)
Inspired by series star Bernie Mac's life, The Bernie Mac Show is a
half-hour sitcom about a man with unique views on parenting. Bernie Mac and his
wife, Wanda, have been so absorbed by their successful careers as a stand-up
comedian and a corporate executive that they've never thought seriously about
having children. When Bernie has to take care of his sister's kids, his world
turns upside down. Bernie believes in "tough love" parenting, but when he tries
to put his ideas into practice, the children make him realize there are better
The Bernie Mac Show is different from many Fox shows in that it actually
portrays strong family values. Although the series is occasionally marred by
mild profanities and sexual innuendo, the overriding themes stress the
importance of family.