Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
TV Parental Guidelines
The TV Parental Guidelines system was introduced on January 1, 1996 in the United States as a ratings system established for television programs to be screened for possibly offensive content. It was established by the Federal Communications Commission in response to public outcry over an apparently increasing trend toward overtly sexual and violent content in TV programming. The ratings system was specifically designed to be used with the V-chip.
United States Ratings
- TV-Y (suitable for young 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.
- TV-Y7 (may not be suitable for children under 7)
- 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 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. Note: 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. Some TV-Y7-rated programs may contain mild curse words such as "piss".
- TV-G (suitable for all audiences)
- This rating does not specifically mean the program is geared towards children, though many parents will find it suitable for children
- TV-PG (parental guidance suggested)
- The program is suitable for children, but parents may want to watch it with them. The rating may be accompanied by one or more of the followind subratings:
- V for moderate violence
- S for mild sexual situations
- L for mild "questionable" language
- D for mild suggestive dialog
- TV-14 (parental guidance strongly recommended for children under 14)
- 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. The rating may be accompanied by one of the following subratings:
- V for violence
- S for sexual situations
- L for "questionable" language
- D for suggestive dialog
Interestingly, most programs aired after 11:00 are rated TV-14, including some more mild programs such as "The Tonight Show"
- TV-MA (originally TV-M)
A new rating, "TV-AO" has been proposed by those who feel TV-MA does not go far enough. In practice, such a rating would only be applied to programming on premium channels, such as The Sopranos or Deadwood
In September 1997, the following subratings were added to clarify matters
- V (violence)
- FV (fantasy violence)
- D (suggestive dialogue)
- L (questionable language)
- S (sexual content)
In the wake of the American ratings system, the Canadian TV Classification System was created for English-language programmers to use in conjunction with the V-chip. This system differs somewhat from the American version:
- C: programming suitable for children under the age of 8 years. No profanity or sexual content of any level allowed. Minimal comedic violence; nothing realistic.
- C8: suitable for children over the age of 8. Low intensity violence and fantasy horror allowed. No foul language but occasional "socially offensive and discriminatory" language allowed if in the context of the story. No sex or nudity.
- G: General. Similar to the Canadian/American movie rating of the same name; programming suitable for the entire family with minimal violence, and no profanity or sexual content.
- PG: Parental Guidance. Again, similar to the movie rating of the same name. Moderate use of violence and mild profanity allowed, as is brief nudity and sexual references if important to a storyline.
- 14+: programming intended for viewers over the age of 14. May contain intense scenes of violence, strong profanity, and depictions of sexual activity within the context of a story.
- 18+: equivalent to the TV-MA rating, allowing strong violence, language, and sexual activity. This rating has been applied to occasional cable broadcasts of pornographic films.
Australia and New Zealand
Australia's ratings are:
P: Programmes best suited to pre-school children.
C: Programmes best suited to children aged 6-14.
G: Programmes that are suitable, but not intended, for a child audience.
PG: Parental guidance is recommended for younger children.
M: Recommended for mature audiences, such as ages 14.5 and up.
MA: Content is handled in a way to make it unsuitable for minors under the age of 16.
AV: Adult violent.
New Zealand's ratings are:
G: Programmes exclude material likely to harm children under 14 and can screen at any time.
PGR: Programmes are more suited to older people but aren't necessarily unsuitable for children, and can screen between 9 AM - 4 PM and 7 PM - 6 AM.
AO: Content is handled in such a way that it is unsuitable for children, and can screen between noon and 3 PM on a school day, and between 8:30 PM - 5 AM. Some programmes exceed the guidelines and have special notes like AO 9:30 PM or later when breast might appear on the television screen.
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