Skip to comments.Parents Television Council Announces Top 10 Best & Worst Shows For Family viewing
Posted on 08/05/2004 10:09:20 AM PDT by dukeman
TOP 10 BEST AND WORST NETWORK TV SHOWS FOR FAMILY VIEWING
Each year, the Parents Television Council rates the best and the worst shows on primetime television on the seven major broadcast networks. The PTC Best and Worst list does not examine artistic quality. But it measures series' appropriateness for family audiences from a content perspective. The seven broadcast networks included in this listing are ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PAX, UPN and the WB. Primetime refers to 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. (ET/PT), when the largest television audience is available.
#1. Joan of Arcadia - CBS 8 p.m. ET/PT Friday first season. Not only the best new series of the 2003-2004 season, Joan of Arcadia may be one of television's most pro-family shows. Joan Girardi has an unusual relationship with God, who appears to her in many different forms to give her guidance and instruction, thus enabling her to help those around her. Joan is not rewarded for her faith and obedience, but she is allowed to see how her actions touch the lives of those around her.
#2. Doc - PAX 8 p.m. Sunday #2 last season. Doc is a fish-out-of-water story about a country doctor who moves to New York City and gets a job at a busy HMO. Dr. Clint Cassidy's homespun values and friendly disposition provide a striking contrast to the jaded and impersonal city environment, but he refuses to let the harsh world in which he lives harden him, or make him forget the values of kindness and compassion that were instilled in him as a child. Doc consistently reinforces family-friendly themes such as honesty, compassion, hope, and reconciliation.
#3. Sue Thomas F. B. Eye - PAX 9 p.m. Sunday #3 last season. This series, from the creators of Doc, tells the inspiring true story of Sue Thomas, a deaf woman originally hired to work in fingerprint analysis at the FBI but soon tapped for work in surveillance because of her talent for reading lips. It is action-filled and suspenseful but never contains graphic or gratuitous violence, inappropriate sexual content, or foul language. Sue Thomas skillfully illustrates, without being mawkish or overly simplistic, the challenges faced by deaf persons working in the hearing world.
#4. Reba - WB 9 p.m. Friday #7 last season. Country singer Reba McEntire stars as divorced mother Reba Hart. Her marriage ended when her husband Brock got his assistant, Barbara Jean, pregnant and her oldest daughter got pregnant while still in high school. Nevertheless, Reba contains pro-family themes. It is never suggested that Reba and Brock's divorce was easy on the family, and the consequences of the breakup of Reba's marriage and her daughter's unplanned pregnancy are still playing themselves out, but Reba manages to handle these issues responsibly, without resorting to cheap innuendo or foul language.
#5. 7th Heaven - WB 8 p.m. Monday #4 last season. 7th Heaven has ranked on the Top 10 Best Shows for Families every year since it began in 1996. It also has also been one of the highest-rated shows on the WB network. The series contains no violence or foul language, and sexual content is dealt with very responsibly. That doesn't mean that 7th Heaven steers clear of tough issues. One episode from this season centered on a sister and brother who had been sexually abused by their father. The subject matter was handled sensitively without delving into graphic details of the abuse.
#6. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - ABC 8 p.m. Sunday first season. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition shows the heights to which reality TV can aspire. This uplifting and inspiring program showcases charity and selflessness. Each week, carpenter Ty Pennington and a crew of designers, contractors, and workmen completely renovate the home of a deserving family.
#7. Everybody Loves Raymond - CBS 9 p.m. Monday not ranked last season. Ray Barone tries desperately to keep everyone happy. But beneath all the quarrels and arguments, deep-seated love holds the family together. The family isn't always in perfect harmony, but their love for each other is obvious and the laughs abundant in this family sitcom.
#8. American Idol - Fox (air dates and times vary) not ranked last season. In American Idol: The Search for a Superstar, hundreds of young men and women compete for the opportunity to become America's next singing sensation. A handful of young hopefuls make it to the final stages of the contest where judges Simon Cowell; 80s pop star and choreographer Paula Abdul; and music industry veteran Randy Jackson judge their performances and viewers at home decide who will advance and who will be eliminated. American Idol is an entertaining show that the entire family can enjoy because it focuses only on the surprisingly good performances turned in by talented young singers.
#9. American Dreams - NBC 8 p.m. Sunday not ranked last season. American Dreams is a heartwarming, realistic portrayal of an American family living in 1960s Philadelphia. Against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the civil-rights movement, and American Bandstand, the Pryors find themselves directly affected by the turbulent times while struggling to cope with everyday life. As the characters experience love, loss, and an awakening to social injustice they learn, and in turn relay, some powerful lessons about life.
#10. Bernie Mac - Fox 8:30 p.m. Sunday not ranked last season. Inspired by series star Bernie Mac's life, The Bernie Mac Show is a half-hour sitcom about a man with unique views on parenting. The Bernie Mac Show is different from many Fox shows in that it actually portrays strong family values. Although the series is occasionally marred by mild profanities and sexual innuendo, the overriding themes stress the importance of family.
#1. Everwood - WB 9 p.m. Monday not ranked last season. Everwood gives every appearance of being a family drama, but it's nothing of the kind. What makes Everwood problematic is the careless and irresponsible treatment of sexual issues, especially when the teenaged characters are involved. Such content might be more excusable in a series that was intended for and marketed to adult audiences, but Everwood's reckless messages about sex without consequences are expressly targeted to impressionable teens.
#2. That 70s Show - Fox 8 p.m. Wednesday not ranked last season. Set in a small Wisconsin town during the 1970s, That 70s Show follows a group of teens as they learn to deal with parents, sex, and drugs. Teen sex and drug use on this series are depicted as risk- and consequence-free. This season's storylines included Kelso getting a girl pregnant after a one-night stand and Donna walking in on Eric while he is masturbating in her bathroom.
#3. Fear Factor - NBC 8 p.m. Monday #5 last season. Fear Factor continues to push the envelope with its disgusting and physically dangerous stunts. NBC touts Fear Factor as family-friendly, but it does not depict healthy competition; instead it depicts a new low in Americans' endless pursuit of money. Language continues to worsen, as does sexual innuendo, largely because more and more episodes center on scantily clad female contestants.
#4. Two and a Half Men - CBS 9:30 p.m. Monday first season. Promiscuous jingle-writer Charlie's life is turned upside down when his divorced brother Alan and young nephew Jake move into his home. Charlie's overpowering libido, unfortunately, trumps any impulse to be a responsible role model to his young nephew. There are constant references to the steady stream of one-night stands parading in and out of Charlie's bedroom.
#5. C.S.I. (Crime Scene Investigation) - CBS 9 p.m. Thursday #1 last season. C.S.I. takes distasteful story lines a step further by providing graphic depictions of decaying bodies, grisly crime scenes, dissections, flashbacks of brutal rapes and murders, and kinky and bizarre sexual fetishes. Such content would be bad enough at 10:00 p.m., but this series airs at 9:00 (8:00 in the Central and Mountain time zones), with reruns often airing during the Family Hour.
#6. The Surreal Life - WB 9 p.m. Thursday not ranked last season. Six B-list celebrities share a house for a couple of weeks as cameras film their daily interactions. The executives at the WB made sure there would be plenty of salacious material by casting adult film star Ron Jeremy; former Baywatch babe Traci Bingham; and Real World party girl Trishelle Cannatella. Episodes featured blurred nudity and extreme language. Although The Surreal Life won't be returning to the WB next season, it isn't going away. VH1 picked-up the series.
#7. Girlfriends - UPN 9 p.m. Monday #7 last season. No subject seems to be off-limits for Girlfriends. Script writers will mine any topic for a cheap laugh, no matter how tacky. One episode last season, for example, had Joan telling her boyfriend she had a yeast infection to get out of having sex with him. In another, Joan's friend Sharon recommends classes at Mama Gina's School of Womanly Arts, saying, Oh Joan, those classes are wonderful. I highly recommend Owning your Orgasm.' And it's a prerequisite for Finding Your Vagina.'
#8. Las Vegas - NBC 9 p.m. Monday first season. What can you expect from a show about Sin City, but sex, sex, and more sex? Las Vegas, a new drama about the staff of an upscale casino, delivers just that along with plenty of foul language and a little violence thrown in for good measure. This series has used every cheap sexual gimmick imaginable in a desperate attempt to lure viewers. Strong sexual innuendo can be found in just about every episode.
#9. Will & Grace - NBC 9 p.m. Thursday #8 last season. Will and Grace began as a sitcom about the friendship between a gay man and his best friend, a quirky straight woman. Over the last few seasons its focus has changed, opening the door for even higher levels of crude innuendo and graphic anatomical references, both hetero- and homosexual, all of which is especially inappropriate given that episodes of Will & Grace often air during the Family Hour. Infidelity remains a common storyline. This show continues to rely on indecency as a source of edginess.
#10. Cold Case - CBS 8p.m. Sunday first season. Cold Case is a drama about a Philadelphia police detective who delves into old murder cases with a fresh eye. Stories are often told in flashback, recounting graphic murders and other violent crimes. Disturbing plots included a case in which a nun accidentally kills an orphan and buries him anonymously in a field; an adult man who has his son bring young teenaged girls to the house so the father can rape them; and teenaged boys at a military school who murder the coach who molested them.
"American Idol is an entertaining show that the entire family can enjoy because it focuses only on the surprisingly good performances turned in by talented young singers."
LOL, they've obviously never watched more than 2 minutes of that show.
Their top 2 shows, JOAN OF ARCADIA and DOC, both star left-wing liberals, Amber Tamblyn and Billy Ray Cyrus.
Her show may be #4 but she is #1 with me.
(Right behind Mrs. B.S. Roberts, of course.)
Any "ten best" list not mentioning "Stargate SG-1" is worthless.
I'm surprised Nip Tuck ain't in there. Each episode the viewer is guaranteed at least 17 inches of total ass crack, at least one partial nipple and 4 piston driving sex scenes. I pretty much watch it every week. But then again, I'm a sick pup.
I agree with Will & Grace, that is a terrible show, I don't see how people can think it is funny. All I can say there are a lot of people without a life to watch that trash. I would rather read the phonebook
I forgot the pic.
While Everwood is liberal on many issues, it does show the consequences of sex including an unplanned pregnancy.
Did you even watch the show or did you let your chimp type the review for you?
I actually watched Nip/Tuck for the first time this past Tuesday and was blown away by the performances and the show overall (of course, I really tuned in just to see the delicious Leslie Bibb, but that's beside the point). I can't wait to see it next week.
May be, but at least Amber doesn't sport a mullet (I know, Billy Ray doesn't anymore either). She's also easy on the eyes. Not to mention I think the show is pretty dang good, it shows a good family, working through it's troubles, is centered on religion even, and gets high marks in the ratings. It's not all syrupy like Touched by an Angel, but gets the point across, nevertheless.
And - if you've heard Billy's version of "Some Gave All" that was reworked with the names of the murdered sailors from the USS Cole (as read by President Clinton), you'd swear he wasn't a liberal.
Yeah, most people I know watch American Idol JUST for the BAD performances that they show. I'd say good/bad is about equal for the show in the early rounds.
I certainly disagree about giving the approval to "Joan of Arcadia."
This whimsical show misrepresents God to a most dangerous degree. Kids who watch that show will be imprinted with a perception of God that is completely false.
Don't forget Stargate Atlantis...
Don't forget the blood and guts in Nip/Tuck. Great show, but it's the first one I thought of when they mention "worst shows for family viewing." Let's not forget the little affair between the tutor and the kid either.
I watch American Idol primarily to see the first two or three rounds of "cattle call" eliminations. I have a perverse interest in people who have no clue about how they come across to others. Many of the poor, deluded souls think they have talent.
Isn't that O.C. show (or whatever it's called, I think it's on Fox) risque, too?
What ????? Say it aint so !!!! Didn't he sing Some Gave All ???
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