Weekly Dish Blog - What do those TV Ratings Mean?
We’ve all been
there . . . you land on a cartoon that your kiddo asks to watch but you’ve
never seen it before. I know every parent uses their own discretion when
it comes to the programs their children watch, but the rating system is
there for trusty back-up. Here’s a refresher on what those little
black boxes mean.
The little black box contains two bits of info that are important. The first is the Audience (Y, Y7, G, PG, 14 or MA), telling you the age group for which the program is appropriate. These groups are outlined below. The second is the Content Label. These are letters added to the Audience indicating the type of content the program contains. Here’s what those letters mean:
D – suggestive dialogue (usually means talks about sex)
L – coarse or crude language
S – sexual situations
V – violence
FV – fantasy violence (children’s programming only)
All Children: This program is designed to be appropriate for all children. Whether animated or live-action, the themes and elements in this program are specifically designed for a very young audience, including children from ages 2-6. This program is not expected to frighten younger children.
Directed to Older Children: This program is designed for children age 7 and above. It may be more appropriate for children who have acquired the developmental skills needed to distinguish between make-believe and reality. Themes and elements in this program may include mild fantasy violence or comedic violence, or may frighten children under the age of 7. Therefore, parents may wish to consider the suitability of this program for their very young children.
Directed to Older Children - Fantasy Violence: For those programs where fantasy violence may be more intense or more combative than other programs in this category, such programs will be designated TV-Y7-FV.
General Audience: Most parents would find this program suitable for all ages. Although this rating does not signify a program designed specifically for children, most parents may let younger children watch this program unattended. It contains little or no violence, no strong language and little or no sexual dialogue or situations.
Parental Guidance Suggested: This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children. Many parents may want to watch it with their younger children. The theme itself may call for parental guidance and/or the program may contain one or more of the following: some suggestive dialogue (D), infrequent coarse language (L), some sexual situations (S), or moderate violence (V).
Parents Strongly Cautioned: This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age. Parents are strongly urged to exercise greater care in monitoring this program and are cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 watch unattended. This program may contain one or more of the following: intensely suggestive dialogue (D), strong coarse language (L), intense sexual situations (S), or intense violence (V).
Mature Audience Only: This program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17. This program may contain one or more of the following: crude indecent language (L), explicit sexual activity (S), or graphic violence (V).
Info obtained from tvguidelines.org