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Jericho on CBS

Rating: TV-PG L

By Caroline Schulenburg


Jericho, CBSís edgy sci-fi drama about a tiny town that manages to survive a nuclear holocaust, is definitely not as family-friendly a program as Foxís American Idol. Yet these very different shows carried an identical rating the same night. One program was an excellent choice for families, while the other was nothing less than a wolf in sheepís clothing.


The episode that aired on February 12th was rated TV-PG L, suggesting that this program is suitable most children and doesnít contain any violence worth mentioning. Unfortunately, the industry demonstrated once again that it cannot be relied upon to accurately rate its own programs. Early in the episode, a fierce battle scene is shown. Several dead bodies are dragged away from the fray while guns fire around them.  Later, the body of a man who was killed while attempting to sneak into Jericho is shown, to prove to the main characters that they are still at risk. And if these incidents were not enough to make a case for a V designator, there are numerous other situations involving gun threats scattered throughout the episode.


As long as the networks are left free to rate their own programs, without reference to well-defined standards, it is a certainty that failures to under-rate programs such as Jericho will continue; and parents who trust that they can use the current system to protect their children from gratuitous violence will be betrayed.


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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