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1 Vs. 100 on NBC

Rating: TV-PG

By Caroline Schulenburg

 

The February 8th episode of 1 vs. 100 (8:00 p.m. ET), though only rated PG, featured sexual innuendo inappropriate for the Family Hour, and particularly for young children.

 

During the competition the question was posed, "Since 1988, what company's trademarked slogan is 'Just Do It'?" Along with the correct answer of “Nike,” one of the other possible answers listed was Trojan condoms. When the contestant answered correctly, host Bob Saget responded with a ribald riposte: "You're positive it wasn't Trojan?... I'm just ribbing you." This reference to (ribbed) condom was so out of place that one of the show’s recurring “mob members,” the nun Sister Rose, felt compelled to ask Saget, "Family show?"

 

While a single off-color remark may seem relatively innocuous, 1 vs. 100 appears to increasingly push the boundaries. Other now-permanent members of the program’s “Mob” are the Playboy centerfolds the Dahm triplets...who are prominently seated next to Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch. Why is a Muppet from a children’s educational program featured on 1 vs. 100, if the producers are not attempting to attract young children to the audience? And if the show is trying to attract young children, then the program should be more responsible than to feature centerfolds and smutty sex jokes – particularly during the Family Hour, when the largest percentage of children are in the viewing audience. 

 

But whatever the program’s intentions, a mere rating of TV-PG, with no D descriptor indicating suggestive dialogue, is not merely inaccurate; it is reprehensible. The entertainment industry’s favorite response to complaints about content is that parents need to use the V-Chip to screen out shows inappropriate for their children. But misrating a program makes the V-Chip completely useless, and actually prevents it from functioning properly.

 

By misrating programs, the TV networks are both denying parents the information they need to make responsible viewing choices for their children, and preventing the technology the industry itself touts as a solution from working. The misrating on this episode of 1 vs. 100 may seem minor, but it is only one small example of a much larger problem – that of the entertainment industry’s refusal to act responsibly.

 

If you agree that this program was inadequately rated, please write to the TV ratings advisory board at tvomb@usa.net and let them know that the TV ratings once again failed to adequately warn parents about inappropriate content.

 

For more information about the TV ratings, please visit http://www.tvguidelines.org/contact.asp.


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