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Parents Television and Media Council

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The Parents Television and Media Council (PTMC), formerly the Parents Television Council (PTC), is an American media advocacy group founded by Catholic League bigwig and conservative crybaby L. Brent Bozell III. The PTMC's goal is to ensure that nothing entertaining will be shown on television so that you will not have to actually parent your children, you lazy bastards, based on flawed research and the idea that children should be sheltered from "bad" stuff. They aim to replace shows like Family Guy with corny shows like Celebrity (Insert title of horrible show here) and The Lawrence Welk Show. Bozell also founded the Media Research Center (MRC), another right-wing self-proclaimed "media watchdog" organization.


Bozell founded the PTC in 1995; he felt that prime-time television was becoming less family-friendly in recent years. He served as president of the PTC until 2007, when Tim Winter took over. Bozell is a conservative activist, while Winter is a liberal Democrat.[1][2] The PTC has been expanding over the years with branches in various American regions.

"Best and Worst Family Shows"[edit]

Up to the 2004–05 season, the PTC compiled Top Ten lists of both the "Best & Worst Family Shows on Network Television". More recently it has featured varying formats, sometimes having a top three, other times a single best and worst.[3]

The best, by year:[4]

  • 1995–96: Touched by an AngelWikipedia: "...the most outspoken proponent of traditional values on the prime time schedule...[that] showcases God's message of unconditional love, illuminates the power of prayer, and promotes compassion and strengthening family ties."
  • 1996–97: Touched By An Angel
  • 1997–98: 7th HeavenWikipedia (drama about a Protestant minister)
  • 1998–99: 7th Heaven
  • 1999–00: Touched By An Angel
  • 2000–01: Touched By An Angel
  • 2001–02: Touched By An Angel
  • 2002–03: Touched By An Angel
  • 2003–04: Joan of ArcadiaWikipedia (although this still has a spiritual theme, it is less overtly Christian than the previous choices)
  • 2004–05: Extreme Makeover: Home EditionWikipedia (after all, Jesus was a carpenter)

Top threes (mostly):

  • 2015-16: Supergirl, The Grinder, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend[5]
  • 2016-17: Pitch, This Is Us, Designated Survivor[6]
  • 2017-18: (Only one best and worst this year) Me, Myself & IWikipedia[3]
  • 2018-19: All American, The Neighborhood, The Rookie[7]
  • 2019-20: Mixed-ish, Bob Hearts Abishola, All Rise[8]

The worst, by year:[4]

  • 1995–96: Married... with ChildrenWikipedia: "Every week members of the 'Bundys' trade insults, celebrate promiscuity, and revel in bathroom humor...with lewd punch lines about sex, masturbation, the gay lifestyle, and the lead character's fondness for pornographic magazines and strip clubs."
  • 1996–97: Married... with Children
  • 1997–98: Dawson's CreekWikipedia
  • 1998–99: Dawson's Creek: " almost obsessive focus on pre-marital sexual activity – most of the characters have sex, which is treated as inconsequential and without moral context...Teen self-identification with homosexuality is also given a thumbs-up."
  • 1999–00: WWF SmackDown!Wikipedia: "Regularly featured characters included a pimp and his "Ho Train," a sex addict, and a porn star. Episodes contained women mudwrestling topless, homosexual innuendo, and drug references."
  • 2000–01: Boston PublicWikipedia: "...nearly obsessed with teacher-student sexual relations...also included brief nudity, gun violence, and foul language..."
  • 2001–02: Buffy the Vampire SlayerWikipedia: "...graphic violence and sex, often mixing the two with an underlying occultist element...Buffy and Spike (a vampire) were shown having sex numerous times this season...air[ing] during the family hour to a core audience of teenaged fans."
  • 2002–03: CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationWikipedia: "This season, episodes of C.S.I. have included story lines about cannibalism, S&M sex clubs, and pornographic snuff films."
  • 2003–04: EverwoodWikipedia: "... the careless and irresponsible treatment of sexual issues – especially when the teenaged characters are involved...Everwood's reckless messages about sex without consequences are expressly targeted to impressionable teens."
  • 2004–05: The War at HomeWikipedia (although the show technically debuted in September 2005, the PTC's list came out in October, so this show seemed to be an easy #1.)

Bottom threes (mostly):

  • 2015-16: Scream Queens ("more appropriate for a premium cable program"), Life in Pieces ("contains four short, sex-obsessed vignettes every week — each of them horrifically wrong for primetime"), Angel From Hell ("crude, obnoxious, and insulting ‘comedy.'")[5]
  • 2016-17: Son of Zorn, American Housewife, Bull[6]
  • 2017-18: 9JKLWikipedia[3]
  • 2018-19: I Feel Bad ("In the world of #metoo, why would NBC air such dialogue? If the genders were reversed, or if that dialogue took place in real life, employees would be hauled into HR, fired, or sued."), The Cool Kids, Magnum P.I.[7]
  • 2019-20: Prodigal Son, Nancy Drew, Bless the Harts[8]

It has also expanded into naming the best and worst TV advertisers, based partly on the content of adverts and partly on whether they advertise on shows the PTC doesn't like.[9]

So why were there fewer "family shows" in the 1990s?[edit]

MRC/PTC chair Brent Bozell stated about the inaugural Top Ten list that "prime time entertainment has become more polarized with regard to family-friendly content...the majority of prime time television shows airing during the 1995-96 season do not have family-friendly content."[4] In the 1997 column "Raunchy Like a Fox", Bozell argued that the Fox network, founded in 1987, was to blame for making prime-time television less family-friendly. Citing Married... with Children, Martin, and Beverly Hills, 90210 among other shows, Bozell stated, "Though Fox has almost always trailed NBC, CBS, and ABC in the overall ratings, it has been the most influential network of the four, blazing a trail of vulgarity and obnoxiousness that the others, fearful of losing a large chunk of their audience to the upstart web, soon followed...Always the approach is the same: forget majority sentiment, aim to capture the avant-garde minority."[10] (Damn, he almost makes Fox sound fun to watch!)

Bozell also compared NBC's primetime lineups of the 1986–87 and 1996–97 seasons, stating, "Look at NBC's schedule for the fall of 1986, about six months before Fox went on the air. The programming included The Cosby Show, ALF, Matlock, Highway to Heaven, Family Ties, The Facts of Life, and 227 - all family shows. It was a time when parents did not live in fear of what television was doing to their children. And today? NBC offers almost nothing for the family audience, even between 8 and 9 o'clock. Tune in to Friends, The Single Guy, Chicago Sons, or any number of other shows, and you'll be floored by the obscenities, vulgarities, and sexual content."[10]

Was 1986 really "a time when parents did not live in fear of what television was doing to their children"? Well, not really. In the late 1960s, violence on primetime Westerns was the moral panic of the day.[11] In the early '70s, Action for Children's Television (founded by Peggy Charren) publicized concern about advertising during kiddie cartoons.[12] And by the mid-1980s, prime-time TV (or pop culture as a whole for that matter) wasn't as innocent as Bozell's rose-colored glasses make it sound. The Parents Music Resource Center was in its heyday. Even in 1986, shows with mature themes or violence like The A-Team, MacGyver, Cheers, or Dallas were shown in the first two hours of primetime.

Not only could Fox have influenced the Big Three networks to go more upscale and target the non-family audience. Other reasons include:

  • Keeping up with the audience. As time went by, the children who watched The Cosby Show or other 1980s shows cited by Bozell became teenagers or adults, and NBC would likely have wanted to develop new shows aimed towards that now-grown yuppie audience, such as Friends. NBC's Thursday night lineup continued to dominate ratings; for the 1986-87 season, NBC's Thursday night sitcoms The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Cheers were the three most-viewed shows in the US. Ten years later, seven of the top eight most-watched shows in primetime were on (now less family-oriented) NBC Thursday nights.[13]
  • Sacrificing the "Family Hour" for the 18-49 demographic. An MRC representative acknowledged this when discussing her organization's inaugural Top Ten list in 1996.[14] At the beginning of the 1995-96 television season, critics for The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania,[15] and Deseret News (an LDS Church-owned newspaper in Utah)[16] noted the rise in adult-oriented shows like Friends, Martin, and Beverly Hills, 90210 in the first hour of primetime. Although the FCC briefly mandated a "Family Viewing Hour" from 1975 to 1977, such a policy was declared unconstitutional in court.[17] Regardless, for the next fifteen years or so, the networks continued to follow a "Family Viewing Hour" policy informally. Programming for younger, city-dwelling audiences pays; during the 1997-98 season, an average 30-second ad for the CBS Western series Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, which appeals to an older, rural audience, cost $40,000, while the same ad for the Fox soap opera Melrose Place, which was aimed towards younger, major city audiences, cost over 4 times as much at $165,000.[18]
  • The crumbling monopoly of primetime network television. Since the 1980s, what is known as the multi-channel transitionWikipedia provided new competition for the Big Three networks, such as home entertainment systems, specialty children's cable channels like Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, and video games. So it followed that the networks cut back on "family shows" during the 1990s.


What is family friendly?[edit]

The PTC accuses entertainment media in general of being a bad influence on children, even for shows not even targeted towards them.[19] In a 2005 study about MTV, the PTC quoted a journalism professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who said, "If you believe Sesame Street taught your four-year-old something, then you better believe MTV is teaching your 14-year-old something, because the influence doesn't stop when we come to a certain age." Yeah, as if the mental capacities of 4-year-olds and 14-year-olds are the same, huh?[20] The PTC seems to love idealized versions of bygone eras, because as one blogger put it, "TV was lost irretrievably with All In The Family."[21]

The PTC also has this sense of entitlement that the first hour of primetime (8PM ET/PT and 7 elsewhere) should be reserved strictly for family-friendly programming, even though the Family Viewing Hour policy by the FCC lasted only from 1975 to 1977 before being thrown out in federal court.[22][23]

Their website features a weekly Family Guide to TV Viewing that makes choosing a television show easy; anything with a yellow or red stoplight is better. The last time any primetime network show qualified for the PTC's coveted green light was... probably in 2009 or 2010?[24] Also, the PTC reviews the "Best and Worst" shows on broadcast TV every week.[25]

Also, in the past, the PTC has shamelessly unmasked its homophobia; for instance, it complained about "[t]een self-identification with homosexuality" in its citation of Dawson's Creek as the worst primetime network show of the 1997-98 season.[26] For a show to be considered in good taste by the PTC, it usually should emphasize not just family values, but moral authoritarianism as well, for instance about Smart Guy: "Heavy emphasis on family, education and respect for authority make this show enjoyable for the whole family."[26] A show must also be abstinence-only, for instance The Parent 'Hood: "Family loyalty, premarital celibacy, and the positive impact of having a father in the household are also accentuated," in contrast with Beverly Hills, 90210: "The season finale of this teen-targeted soap saw its last remaining virgin ready to succumb to her sexual impulses."[27]

Apparently, the idea that healthy human beings can enjoy sex has long been a novel concept for the PTC. In a January 1997 study examining the newly introduced TV Parental Guidelines system, the PTC objected to an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond being rated "TV-G" because of innocent, mild references to sex made by...gasp!...the married couple who happen to be the lead characters of the show! (What would they rather have, separate beds a la I Love Lucy?)[28] Also, the PTC highlighted a TV-14-rated episode of Melrose Place because the episode "featured a married couple making love, two homosexual men moving in together, and that Melrose staple, premarital sex."[28]

So if your family values lean towards freethought, sex-positivity, or humanism, you're not welcome to the PTC's family. But wait, there's more! Make a film extolling conservative Christianity with no apology and no compromise, and you can win the PTC Seal of Approval, like God's Not Dead[29] and Grace Unplugged, the latter for being a "brilliant and realistic portrait of how faith and morals can be slowly and subtly eroded when one focuses more on oneself, one’s own desires, and “the world” than on family and God."[30]

The PTC has standards far more strict than the MPAA ratings and TV Parental Guidelines, hence why it recommends the PG-13 films Noah[31] and Captain America: The Winter Soldier[32] as appropriate for ages 16 and up. But the PG-rated Grace Unplugged is appropriate for ages 5 and up, because "Christian Values".[30] And it seriously recommends America's Got Talent (a TV-PG rated show) for ages 16 and up,[33] while Modern Family is rated TV-PG; if the PTC had their way, it would've been TV-14.[34] And NCIS (often a TV-14 show but sometimes TV-PG) would've been rated TV-MA, as PTC recommends it only for adults.[35] One has to wonder: with such prudish standards, who takes the PTC seriously in modern times?

Meanwhile, a Google search reveals that the PTC has been dead silent on Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Either because evolution and global warming will forever scar the children of creationist Republican parents, or because Seth MacFarlane (of the oft-despised Family Guy and American Dad) produced it?

If any show shall dare suggest that abstinence advocates are hypocrites or full of it, that's a paddlin'.[note 1]

Cable TV[edit]

The PTC also reviews the "Worst Content Found on Cable Television" weekly.[36] Among the most frequent targets of the PTC are pretty much any programming on Comedy Central[37] or MTV (whether it be their annual awards shows or cheap reality shows),[38][39] and the higher-grade dramas on FX, such as Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me, and Swag Suspenders that are on after 10PM and rated TV-MA specifically to inform parents they are not appropriate for children.[20]

Each review of sleazy cable shows comes with a boilerplate message basically going, "Your cable bill subsidizes this filth! Call Congress now and demand cable choice!" Using PTC's logic, those who subscribe to cable for the offensive shows on MTV or FX are subsidizing the kids' programming on Nickelodeon or Disney, or non-Christian cable subscribers subsidize the Christian channels like EWTN or TBN. Also, the cable channels that receive the most money per subscriber are sports channels ESPN ($5.54/subscriber) and NFL Network ($1.13/subscriber), children's channel Disney ($1.15/subscriber), and general entertainment channel TNT ($1.33/subscriber), channels that don't receive much criticism from the PTC; frequent PTC targets Comedy Central, FX, and MTV do not get more than 60 cents per subscriber.[40]

Josef Adalian of TV Week had the perfect response to a column by Bozell criticizing the FX show Sons of Anarchy: "[Bozell] denounced FX for being more concerned about artistic vision than the 'prospect of a 10-year-old boy finding a terrifying castration scene as he's flipping channels in his home.' Personally, I'd be more troubled by the irresponsibility of the parents of any 10-year-old who would allow their son to be channel surfing, unattended, at 10 o'clock at night."[41] Furthermore: "The cable user is paying for the cable network's delivery of programming; the advertisers pay for the shows...and if the audience isn't there...the show will be cancelled because the advertisers won't support the show."[42]


The PTC's 2005 study about MTV's spring break programming exaggerated some parts. For instance, the study mistakenly claimed that all instances of profanity in the network's edited music video for "I Don't Want You Back" by Eamon were replaced with sounds of a woman moaning.[20] In reality, most of the swear words were silenced out; only some profanities, including the use of "ho" in "you ho, I don't want you back" had the moan, and the edits masked the swearing enough that the chorus is still listenable, as in: "the presents, might as well throw 'em out/all those kisses, they don't mean jack" (both verses had "fuck" in the beginning originally).[43] Also, the study represented any edit of profanity from music videos as "bleeped", giving readers the impression that the "bleep" sound replaced swear words in the songs, when it was actually not the case.[20] Furthermore, the edits in the music videos (as opposed to the actual bleeps in reality shows like Making the Band 2 or Real World: San Diego) are such that the casual viewer cannot discern what the words are, contrary to the PTC's suggestion that the words are "easily decipherable through context" (enough that it took research to uncover those words!)[20]

A 2007 Zogby poll commissioned by the PTC, purporting to claim that the majority of parents do not use the TV rating-based V-Chip to block certain programming from their televisions, was flawed due to including "adults nationwide" as opposed to only parents. Other surveys such as those by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that most parents do monitor their children's media consumption, whether by the V-chip or other means.[44] Nonetheless, the PTC continues to stand by that flawed statistic years later, reaching the conclusion that "the networks failed to effectively educate parents on how to use the resources established to protect children and families from unwanted media content".[45]

Around Halloween 2014, the PTC criticized ABC for broadcasting an episode of Scandal that included a sex scene very shortly after the family-oriented special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. With an embedded video, the PTC asserted that the scene was "26 seconds" after the end of the Charlie Brown special, but the PTC's video was deceptively edited to leave out the full split-screen closing credits that had network promos. Kristin Dos Santos of E! Online uploaded the uncut transition between both programs, and the time between the end of the last Charlie Brown scene and the Scandal scene was really 30 seconds longer, not to mention that a commercial for Scandal that included some not-so-family-friendly details about the show played during the credits. Still, a PTC representative insisted "their video was not edited and was taken from the East Coast feed."[46] Furthermore, do you really buy the PTC president's statement that parents could not have changed the channel or turned the TV off unless they "had the remote control in their hand, thumb on the button and aimed directly at the TV screen" within 26 seconds? Really?[47] When, in reality, parents watching Charlie Brown with their children had ample warning about the next show whether the network's preview trailer for Scandal or the "TV-14-DLSV" rating for the show? No wonder not many take the PTC seriously anymore.

Sex is more harmful than fast food[edit]

Apparently, the advertising practices of fast food chains like Carl's Jr. or McDonald's, whether to sponsor raunchy episodes of Family Guy or have sexually charged advertising campaigns...are more harmful (of course in the PTC's language "to children") than the companies' products in the first place.[48][49]

FCC complaints[edit]

Their standard tactic is to flood the FCC with organized letter and email campaigns,[50] complaining about shows that they themselves might not have seen, that children were never meant to see, and that any parents with common sense would never let their children watch. This led the FCC to fine CBS affiliates in the Central and Mountain Time Zones over an "indecent" episode of the crime drama series Without a Trace, which normally aired on Thursdays at 10:00 PM (Eastern/Pacific) but aired an hour earlier in other U.S. time zones, as is standard for TV networks. The FCC's "no-indecency" timeframe is 6 A.M. to 10 P.M., regardless of time zone.[51] Thus, the PTC found a golden opportunity...

Not so fast. CBS appealed a few months after the fine by arguing that all the complaints came only after the PTC asked its members to do so.[52] An independent analysis by Television Watch, a group opposed to the PTC, confirms this.[53] Does that ring a bell?

Other great moments in PTC complaints:

  • " It has been suggested that over ninety-nine percent of total 2003 complaints were generated by the PTC."[54]
  • "In February 2005, a PTC campaign launched against a single TV episode of CSI accounted for 89 percent of the total complaints the FCC received that month."[53]
  • Sometimes the FCC has smacked the PTC straight in the face by proving PTC complaints to be batshit insane.[55] In fact, at one time the PTC filed a complaint against a relatively tame episode of The Simpsons, which had the temerity to show protesting students holding signs reading "What Would Jesus Glue?" and "Don't Cut Off My Pianissimo".[56]


The PTC criticized MTV's reality show Jersey Shore and a public service announcement that aired on the network, stating:

This is how MTV teaches teenagers. To teach teens that bigotry and stereotyping is wrong, they show a program filled with bigoted stereotypes. To teach them not to punch women, they show a woman being punched. And to teach teens not to send nude pictures of themselves to others, they show a picture of a nude woman.[57]

This comes from an organization that warns parents that TV is raunchy by posting clips and relatively uncensored transcripts online to emphasize their point.[58]

Real advice for parents[edit]

Like most molehill mountaineers and those who love to jerk their knees, the PTC rarely offers any real and effective advice. This is mostly because, in comparison to the effort required to be a responsible parent, it's very easy to bitch and moan and try to place the blame for all society's ills on impersonal organizations. In short, there are a few things parents can do to protect their children from the more obscene television content:

  • Monitor your children's television viewing. Really. This is what good parenting is about. Ratings and time slots are controlled for a reason.
  • If you "don't have time" to monitor their viewing habits, less even watch the tube yourself, throw out your television services altogether! There's no law requiring everyone to watch whatever cool shows are on or even have access to the signals. (Hell, in Britain and many other countries you have to pay an extra taxWikipedia to even have your TV hooked up!) If your children want to watch a show that you approve of, you can get it for them on DVD or streaming video, and as you hold the purse strings you certainly can monitor their purchases.
  • Teach your children good morals and values before sleazy TV programs force you to do so. Doing it too late makes things far too difficult as you would have to undo undesirable behaviors and attitudes first.
  • There are many other activities besides passive TV viewing in which you can bond with your children.

Unfortunately, the PTC's view, in response to commenters who point this out? " you believe parents are to blame for all the school children murdered at Newtown, too? By your logic, surely the killer was not to blame for the massacre: 'The parents should’ve been more responsible, and kept their kids away from danger!'"[59]

In pop culture[edit]

The Colbert Report mentioned the PTC in one "Word" segment.[60]

The Daily Show covered the PTC three times:

  • January 31, 2002 Within "Headlines" segment (starting at 5:16): Jon Stewart summarized the PTC's report "Wired in Raunch: A Content Analysis of Expanded Basic Cable's Original Prime-Time Series"[61] and poked fun at the PTC's counting bleeped words in profanity totals and finding one use of "dickface" among 33 programs analyzed.[62]
  • February 16, 2005 "Back in Black: Indecency" segment: Lewis Black discussed the PTC study "MTV Smut Peddlers: Targeting Kids with Sex, Drugs and Alcohol" and the PTC's general catalog of videos supplementing its "Worst TV Show of the Week" review. He then characterized PTC's research as "watching porn all day".[63]
  • December 6, 2005 "You Can't Do That on Television!" segment: Covered congressional hearings on cable TV indecency; included a soundbite from PTC founder Bozell.[64]

In the summer of 2008, the CW television network plastered the quote "Mind-blowingly inappropriate" from the PTC on promotional posters for its teen drama series Gossip Girl.[65]

A 2008 vanity card by Chuck Lorre[66] mocked the PTC after they complained about the content of Two and a Half Men. According to the text of the card, Lorre thanked the PTC for the plug and sent a "box of fancy cupcakes".

In 2012, the New Zealand TV network Four used the PTC "Worst TV show of the Week" tagline in ads for Family Guy.[67]

Bozo gets body-slammed[edit]

The Parents Television Council Right To Censor at their peak. Left to right: Val Venis, The Goodfather, Ivory, Bull Buchanan, Steven "Stevie" Richards

In 1999, the PTC initiated a boycott of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)[note 2] during their politically incorrect Attitude EraWikipedia. In response, WWF owner Vince McMahon, no progressive himself, created a lower to midcard heel stable of wrestlers named "Right to Censor" (RTC).[68] Dressed like Mormon missionaries and announced by a blaring siren, flashing red lights, and a giant "No" logo in place of a typical entrance video, the RTC faction would interfere in matches and promos[69] (any part of a pro-wrestling show that isn't explicitly a match) when things became too violent, sexual, and/or profane. RTC's interference included covering scantily-clad women in blankets and removing "hardcore" weapons (e.g., tables, chairs, trashcans) from other wrestlers' matches. Members of the RTC stable included the kayfabeWikipedia reformed pimp The Godfather (renamed The Goodfather) and kayfabe reformed male-porn-star-turned-pro-wrestler Val Venis (sic) (renamed... Val Venis). Though the RTC were heels (bad guys), other heels became annoyed with the RTC's antics and would join the faces (good guys) in fighting the group. Thusly, RTC ended up on the receiving end of many a smackdown from both sides.

The creation of the RTC (and the PTC's boycotts) stemmed from Bozell's libelous assertion that the WWF was directly responsible for the deaths of four children killed by imitating wrestling moves. During the boycott, the PTC claimed to have caused upwards of forty television sponsors to stop advertising on WWF programming, though a complete list was never released. As professional wrestling had white-hot mainstream popularity in the late 1990s (Austin 3:16, The Rock, NWO, etc...), the boycott had little-to-no discernible effect on WWF's bottom line. WWF still brought a $3.5 million dollar lawsuit against the PTC for libel and copyright infringement (the PTC had used WWF footage in their fundraising advertisements). Before the trial began, it was discovered that a twelve-year-old accused of killing a six-year-old using a wrestling move had never watched professional wrestling. That revelation[note 3], alongside the clear-cut copyright infringement, led to the PTC settling out of court with WWF for the originally requested sum of $3.5 million. As part of the settlement, Bozell had to personally issue a retraction and a public apology absolving the WWF of any wrongdoing. That apology is one of the most entertaining reads available without a monthly credit card charge.[70]

In an ironic twist; as rating declined, WWE moved away from the raunchy content associated with the Attitude Era in hopes of recapturing a younger audience (and advertisers who fled because of said content). This move from TV-14 to TV-PG also coincided with Vince McMahon's wife Linda's failed Republican bids for U.S. Senator.[note 4] While WWE still occasionally dips its toes into what could be called "TV-14 content" (especially on pay-per-view events), all of its free-TV shows have been rated TV-PG since the late 2000s. This led to wrestling fans creating the "PG Era" nickname and to joke that Right to Censor won its war on filth.


Funding for the PTC comes from its members, supporters, and organizations, including such prominent right-wing organizations as:[71]

  • Anschutz Foundation (founded by entrepreneur Philip Anschutz, a frequent donor to Republican candidates and Christian organizations)
  • Pat Boone Foundation (Boone is a former singer and current conservative cultural columnist at WorldNetDaily)
  • The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation (this foundation has contributed to Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to restrain public employee unions in Wisconsin.[72])

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. For instance, when Glee was the worst show of the week for March 11, 2011: "... the message was abundantly clear. Abstinence is lame! And those who practice it are “naïve and possibly frigid.”"
  2. Now known as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
  3. And the basic fact that children have been wrestling since the dawn of man, independent of WWF.
  4. Linda McMahon would leave her job as an executive/performer on WWE, when she was appointed Secretary of the US Small Business Administration by Donald Trump. Trump himself has appeared numerous times in WWE programming and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.


  1. Thompson, Bob. "Fighting Indecency, One Bleep At a Time." The Washington Post: December 8, 2004.
  2. Learmonth, Michael. "Parents Television Council sees new era." Variety: March 17, 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Parents Television Council Chooses Best and Worst New Shows, Tulsa Kids, Sep 20, 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The 1996-97 list, with links to other seasons, but the 1997-98 link is broken, so here are the archived worst and best of that seaason. The Media Research Center website also has the PTC's inaugural list when the PTC was the entertainment division of the MRC.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Supergirl, Scream Queens: Parents Television Council votes on best and worst of new fall TV, Entertainment Weekly
  6. 6.0 6.1 PTC's Top 3 Best, Worst New TV Shows This Fall: No. 1 FOX's 'Pitch', Christian Post, 2016
  7. 7.0 7.1 PTC Identifies Best and Worst New Fall TV Shows for Family Viewing, Pittsburgh Parent, 2018
  8. 8.0 8.1 Parents Television Council reveals the best and worst new shows of 2019, Deseret News, Oct 2, 2019
  9. 'Best' and 'worst' TV advertisers for 2019: Parents Television Council, Christian Post, Nov 30, 2019
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bozell, L. Brent III. "Raunchy Like a Fox." Syndicated column. April 8, 1997. Quoted: Rick Du Brow, "Fox Loses Some of Its Sheen." Los Angeles Times: December 8, 1990.
  11. The Western: Parables of the American Dream
  12. Historical Dictionary of the 1970s
  13. Wikipedia: 1986-87 US network television schedule; same for 1996-97.
  14. Mangan, Jennifer. "Lighting The Way." Chicago Tribune: February 1, 1996.
  15. Duckett, Jodi. "Kids Tuned Out From 8 To 9 P.M." The Morning Call: October 2, 1995
  16. Pierce, Scott D. "Prime time: Parental discretion advised." Deseret News: October 4, 1995.
  17. Brown, James A. "Family Viewing Time." Museum of Broadcast Communciations.
  18. Bozell, Brent. "The TV Industry's Blind Spots." Media Research Center: March 10, 1999.
  19. Christopher Gildemeister, "Worst Cable Content: The Seven Year Switch on FYI." PTC. July 9, 2015. "...A&E is making $150 MILLION A YEAR GLAMORIZING ADULTERY TO KIDS."
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 MTV Smut Peddlers: Targeting Kids with Sex, Drugs and Alcohol
  21. McKee, Brent. "Who Does the PTC Hate THIS Week? - February 29, 2008." I Am a Child of Television. References the poem "A Valentine to Television...As It Was" by Christopher Gildemeister, TV Trends columnist for PTC.
  22. Group calls for voluntary return to TV 'family hour'. CNN: Aug. 1, 2001.
  23. PTC studies on programming during first hour of primetime: "The 'Family Hour': No Place for Your Kids" (1997) and "The Alarming Family Hour: No Place for Your Children" (2007)
  25. The evil, evil programs that are turning our youth into sinners, in contrast to good, wholesome programming.
  26. 26.0 26.1
  28. 28.0 28.1 A Ratings Report Card
  30. 30.0 30.1
  37. Eggerton, John. Parents TV Council Takes Aim At Tonight's Joan Rivers' Roast On Comedy Central. Multichannel News: August 7, 2009.
  38. Eggerton, John. PTC Doesn't Want Its MTV. Broadcasting & Cable: February 1, 2005.
  39. Moss, Linda; Umstead, R. Thomas. PTC Puts a Bad 'Rap' On BET, MTV. Multichannel News: April 10, 2008
  41. Josef Adalian, "PTC Uses Kids as Human Shields." TV Week: Oct. 2008.
  43. I Don't Want You Back YouTube video, presumably the version used on MTV
  44. Distorting Numbers in the Debate over Parental Controls. Progress & Freedom Foundation. March 26, 2007.
  45. Gildemeister, Christopher. Protecting Children or Protecting Hollywood? Parents Television Council: 2016. p. 18.
  46. Kristin Dos Santos, "The Parents Television Council Saw a Different Charlie Brown-to-Scandal Transition Than We Did—Watch Now." E! Online. Nov. 4, 2014.
  48. Christopher Gildemeister, "McDonald’s Doesn’t Sponsor Child Sexual Assault Jokes…in Canada." PTC: June 23, 2015.
  49. "No apologies for sexy Paris Hilton ad." CNN: June 1, 2005.
  50. PTC main page, where you can learn who aired indecent programs and send a form letter expressing your personal outrage.
  51. FCC consumer facts page
  52. CBS Affils: Retract Trace Fine, B&C
  53. 53.0 53.1 TV Watch Press Release
  54. In the dark: a consumer perspective on FCC broadcast indecency denials. Federal Communications Law Journal: December 2007.
  55. Notices of Apparent Liability and Memorandum Opinion and Order. In the matter of Complaints Regarding Various Television Broadcasts Between February 2, 2002 and March 8, 2005. FCC: Adopted February 21, 2006; Released March 15, 2006
  56. FCC denies 36 indecency complaints over "Friends", "The Simpsons" and other shows. Associated Press: January 24, 2005.
  57. "Jersey Shore on MTV." The Worst Cable Content of the Week. Parents Television Council. December 18, 2009.
  58. One example about an episode of Family Guy.
  59. Comment by Christopher Gildemeister after blog post, "ADHD Boasts of Huge Increase in Teen Viewers"
  60. "The Word: Great F---ing Idea." The Colbert Report. Comedy Central. Aired June 13, 2006.
  61. "Wired in Raunch: A Content Analysis of Expanded Basic Cable's Original Prime-Time Series." Parents Television Council: 2002.
  62. Stewart, Jon. "Headlines - Fellowship of the Bling." The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Comedy Central. Aired January 31, 2002.
  63. Black, Lewis. "Back in Black: Indecency." The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Comedy Central. Aired February 16, 2005.
  64. Stewart, Jon. "You Can't Do That on Television!" The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Comedy Central. Aired December 6, 2005.
  65. Parents Television Council Unimpressed by New ‘Gossip Girl’ Ads. New York magazine. July 23, 2008
  66. Chuck Lorre no. 228
  67. “Worst TV show of the week”. Breaking Copy: February 14, 2012.
  69. Pro-wrestling has its own "insider" slang, more can be found here
  70. Bozell's Apology to the WWF
  71. PTC Annual Report 2008, p. 15
  72. From local roots, Bradley Foundation builds conservative empire. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Nov. 19, 2011.