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Best/Worst Shows?

By RD Heldenfels Published: October 19, 2005

The following comes from the folks at the Parents Television Council, and I pass it on for your information. I'll have a few comments after the release.

The Parents Television Council announced its choices for the Top Ten Best and Worst Shows for family viewing on prime time broadcast television for the 2005-2006 season and found that the top three worst shows for families – The War at Home, The Family Guy, and American Dad – are packaged as family shows.

“We provide this analysis as a guide for parents because it’s very difficult to monitor all the shows that are appropriate for family viewing and those that are not,” said L. Brent Bozell, president of the PTC.  “We were alarmed to find that the three worst shows on prime time broadcast television are being marketed as family-friendly when, in fact, these shows are none other than wolves in sheep’s clothing.”


This analysis is the PTC’s ninth ranking of the best and worst series on broadcast television from the perspective of family audiences.  The lists are ranked based on the content of the program and the appropriateness of the show for children.  The criterion for this annual ranking includes not only the frequency of foul language, sexual content and violence but also the time slot, target audience, themes and plotlines of the programs.

The Top Ten Best and Worst Shows for family viewing on prime time broadcast television are:

BEST                                                              WORST

1.  Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

ABC/8:00 Sunday – Returning show

1. The War at Home

Fox/8:30 Sunday – 1st Season

2. Three Wishes

NBC/9:00 Friday – 1st season

2. The Family Guy

Fox/9:00 Sunday – Returning show

3. American Idol

Fox/Returning in spring ’06

3. American Dad

Fox/9:30 Sunday – Returning show

4. The Ghost Whisperer

CBS/8:00 Friday – 1st Season

4. The O.C.

Fox/8:00 Thursday – Returning show

5. Everybody Hates Chris

UPN/8:00 Thursday – 1st Season

5. C.S.I. (Crime Scene Investigation)

CBS/9:00 Thursday – Returning show

6. Reba

WB/9:00 Friday – Returning show

6. Desperate Housewives

ABC/9:00 Sunday – Returning show

7. Bernie Mac

Fox/8:00 Friday – Returning show

7. Two and a Half Men

CBS/9:00 Monday – Returning show

8. Dancing with the Stars

ABC/Returning in spring ‘06

8. That ‘70s Show

Fox/Returning in November ‘05

9. 7th Heaven

WB/8:00 Monday – Returning show

9. Arrested Development

Fox/8:00 Monday – Returning show

10.  Not available.

10. Cold Case

CBS/8:00 Sunday – Returning show

Me again: I do have to say that any careful viewer should know by now that Fox's comedies should be considered edgy and targeted at adults unless proven otherwise, and that ''Family Guy'' has never pretended to be a family show.

Also, it's interesting that PTC could not come up with a 10th best show for families. No love for ''Everwood''? ''Gilmore Girls''? ''Veronica Mars''? ''The Amazing Race'' -- hey, it's having a family edition right now (which one of my colleagues refers to as ''the Disney version'' of ''Amazing Race.'')

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