What are the TV rating codes, and what do they mean?

Families, Food and Fitness January 27, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF
In 1997, television shows were coded as: • TV–G — Suitable for all ages; little or no violence, strong language. or sexual situations. • TV–PG — Parental guidance suggested; may be unsuitable for younger children. • TV–14 — Parents strongly cautioned; may be unsuitable for children under 14. • TV–MA — Mature audiences only; may be unsuitable for children under 17. As a result of organizations like the National PTA and other child advocacy groups, television networks now offer content-based codes that give parents more information regarding the material of television programs. The following content-based codes are in addition to the previously mentioned codes: S — sexual situations V — violence L — coarse language D — suggestive dialogue TV–Y — children of all ages TV–Y7 — children older than 7 FV — “fantasy violence” in programs for children 7 and older. Television shows are rated by the networks and producers. A monitoring board consisting of experts of the TV industry and child advocacy groups examines the programs to ensure they have been correctly coded. References: http://fun.familyeducation.com/television/parenting/35047.html www.wbgn.com/tv_rating_info.htm

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.