Touched by an Angel
CBS/ 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Saturdays -- ranked #2 last season
This year marked the end
of Touched by an Angel's
successful nine-year run. The family drama about four angels who help mortals
on Earth defied conventional wisdom by drawing huge audiences while providing
pro-family, faith-based entertainment.
Every episode emphasized
the power of goodness over evil, the need to strengthen familial
relationships, the importance of individual responsibility, and an
encouragement to maintain faith in God. Although it's no longer part of the
broadcast schedule, Touched by an Angel
lives on in syndication, airing weeknights on ITV.
ITV/ 8:00 p.m.
(ET/PT) Sundays -- ranked #1 last season
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 striking 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 that were instilled in him as a
In addition to being
completely devoid of offensive language, sexual content, or violence, episodes
of Doc consistently reinforce
family-friendly themes such as honesty, compassion, hope, and reconciliation.
has been recognized for
its pro-faith themes, earning Movieguide's
"Faith and Freedom" award for consistently teaching Biblical principles.
Thomas F. B. Eye
ITV/ 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Sundays -- first season
This series, from the
creators of Doc, tells the
inspiring true story of Sue Thomas, a deaf woman originally hired to work in
fingerprint analysis at the FBI but soon tapped for work in surveillance
because of her unique talent for reading lips. Sue
Thomas is truly ground-breaking TV in that the main character is
portrayed by a deaf actress. This unique series brings a new twist to a
normally tawdry television genre. It is action-filled and suspenseful but
never contains graphic or gratuitous violence, inappropriate sexual content,
or foul language.
skillfully illustrates the challenges faced by deaf individuals working in the
hearing world without being mawkish or overly simplistic.
WB/ 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Monday -- ranked #4 last season
After six seasons on the
air, 7th Heaven
continues to be the WB's highest-rated series. In a TV landscape littered
with dysfunctional families, this drama provides a refreshing portrait of
American family life. The Reverend Eric Camden and his wife, Annie, have
created an atmosphere conducive to honesty, which proves especially helpful as
their seven children are confronted with difficult issues and circumstances.
These parents are eager to provide wise counsel along with love and
As the Camden children
have grown, episodes have included more mature themes, such as premarital sex
and peer pressure, but such topics are always handled responsibly.
Life with Bonnie
9:00 P.M. (ET/PT) Tuesdays --
difficult for a television show to be funny, tender, entertaining, and clean
all at once. As evidence, you need look no further than ABC's
Life with Bonnie.
stars as Bonnie Molly, a loving wife and mother who also is the host of a
morning television talk show. Life with
Bonnie explores the challenges of being a modern working mother
with humor and charm. This
series is laugh-out-loud funny, but never panders to the lowest common
denominator, and never resorts to cheap innuendo for laughs. Episodes seldom
contain inappropriate language or sexual content.
Bonnie depicts a loving family
that respects each other, but unlike other family sitcoms, the parents are
actually smarter than the children, and are still in control.
WB/ 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Tuesdays -- ranked #6 last season
provides a twist on the
traditional teen coming-of-age drama. In this series, the teenager is the
young Superman, who came to earth during a meteor shower and is endowed with
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 -- is like his
father, Lionel Luthor: emotionally distant and cruel.
Although episodes have
contained mild sexual innuendo and comic-book-style violence, the overall
themes of good triumphing 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
WB/ 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Fridays -- ranked #7 last season
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 Brock and Reba's
17-year-old daughter, Cheyenne, became pregnant and married her dim-witted
off-putting premise, Reba
contains some very positive messages:
Reba is a strong,
responsible mother, providing Cheyenne and Van with advice on marriage and
parenting. She doesn't glorify her situation and is willing to admit her
faults and embrace her responsibilities, and she never makes or accepts
excuses from her ex-husband or her children.
8. Star Search
CBS/ 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Wednesdays and Fridays -- first season
dancers, and models compete for show business careers and cash prizes
in this updated version of the classic Ed McMahon-hosted talent
competition. This time out, the series is hosted by Arsenio Hall and judged
by a panel of celebrities including Naomi Judd and Ben Stein. Each episode
features amateur performances and interactive online voting by audience
is a refreshing change of
pace from other talent competitions that tend to encourage sleazy behavior.
In this competition, contestants often lose points for off-color language and
inappropriate material. All of the judges encourage child competitors to
perform material and wear clothing that is age-appropriate and modest.
ABC/ 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT)
Wednesdays -- ranked #9 last season
have pressed Hollywood to make minorities more visible on prime time TV. If
this is Hollywood's answer, hooray for Hollywood.
George Lopez deserves wider
exposure not simply because the series has something unique to say to
America's Latin-American community, but because the show's themes and messages
stands out for its
positive depiction of a minority family, its strong family values, and the
important lessons imparted in each episode. More significantly,
the series has performed
well since its 2002 mid-season debut without resorting to cheap humor or
8 Simple Rules for
Dating My Teenage Daughter
ABC/ 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Tuesdays -- first season
the best-selling book of the same name, 8
Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter stars John Ritter as
the over-protective father of three children. Unfortunately for Paul, his two
daughters have reached adolescence and are starting to date, something he's
just not prepared for.
8 Simple Rules
focuses on the problems every family lives through -- sibling rivalry, lack of
communication, teen rebellion -- but each episode ends with a positive message
that emphasizes the importance of family relationships and parental
explores the difficulties of raising three teenagers when both parents work,
but the underlying message is that being involved in your child's life is as
rewarding as it is necessary for the child's well being.