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Television: Parental Guidelines

A guide to researching topics related to television.

Arguments for Parental Controls

Arguments against Parental Controls

TV Ratings


The TV Parental Guidelines, often called The Rating System or simply The Rating, are designed to help parents decide what is and is not suitable for their children. It often includes two parts, the audience and the content labels. For more information, check out TV Guidelines.

The audience:

Y - All children. Specific children's programming for a very young audience.

Y7 - Older children, age 7+. May include some very mild fantasy and comedic violence.

G - General audience. Not specifically intended for children but includes no language, violence, or sexual situations that parents may find objectionable.

PG - Parental guidance suggested. May include mild course language, suggestive dialog, or suggestive situations that may not be suitable for young children without parental supervision.

14 - Parents strongly cautioned. May include language, sexual scenarios, or violence unsuitable for children younger than 14 without parental supervision.

MA - Mature audience only. Includes at least one of the following: crude language, sexually explicit situations, or graphic violence. Not recommended for children with or without an adult.

The content labels:

D - Suggestive dialog (generally about sex)

L - Language

S - Sexual situations

V - Violence

FV - Fantasy violence (children's programming only)