TV Ratings

Protect Your Family with TV Ratings

The TV rating system is a relatively new federal regulation that has been designed to provide guidance and information about television programming to parents and their children so that they can be aware of the federal opinion of the programs that are transmitted on TV. The federal TV ratings system is a method of regulation and a way to oversee TV broadcasting that was designed by the government in response to common parental outcries about the amount of sexuality, violence and other forms of "mature" content that their children had access to on TV. These parents were concerned that these shows often seemed innocuous at first glance and were, therefore, difficult to regulate..

The TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board

The TV ratings system identifies age-appropriateness of the TV programs through the "Parental Guidelines," as it is defined by the organization known as the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board. The TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board consists of experts and analysts working in the television industry. The organization and experts work as a team to ensure that the TV Parental Guidelines are in place as a resource to provide consistency in the TV ratings. Parents should be able to learn more about the content that is put forth in the programs that their children watch so that the parents can determine the level of appropriateness with as much information as possible. .

Although the TV Parental Guidelines are designed to apply to all television programs, especially those directed specifically at young children, sports and news shoes do not carry the guidelines. This has raised concern among parents who do not want their children exposed to the violence that may be contained in a newscast, which is more real than that seen on a fiction program.

The V-Chip

Most newer TV sets have a built-in V-Chip - an electrical device that is inserted into the TV and that allows parents to "block out", or restrict from viewing, programs the parents don't want their children to be able to watch. The V-Chip works by electronically reading the ratings for each television program and allowing parents to black programs with ratings that they feel are too high for the age of their children.

The Ratings

TV-Y is the rating that means a program is appropriate for all children it may a program of animation-only or it can be live action, but the themes and elements are directed towards children ages 2-6 and does not contain elements that would frighten very young children.

TV-Y7 is programming that is directed to older children. Generally, children above the age of 7, who have the developmental skills needed to make the distinction between fantasy and reality, will be able to tolerate programs with this rating. Themes may include some violence and fantasy and could scare children younger than 7. Programs with a TV-Y7-FV rating have additional fantasy and portrayals of violence.

TV-G General Audience programs are considered suitable for children of all ages, although the program may not be specifically created for or targeted at younger children. TV-G programs contain little violence, if any at all. These have very simple language and will not generally have strong language, sexual situations or talks of other adult topics. .

A TV-PG rating means that parental guidance is suggested. Programs with the TV-PG rating may have some low-level violence (V), and a few sexual situations (S), infrequent coarse language (L), or some suggestive dialogue (D). Parents are encouraged not to leave younger children unattended with these shows.

TV-14 is a rating that strongly cautions parents. These programs usually have content that many parents would find inappropriate for children under 14 years of age

TV-MA Mature Audience Only means that this program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults only and will have content that is inappropriate for children under 17.

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