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Red Light TV Specials from Interest Group

Keep your children out of Fox's "Hell's Kitchen" and away from the Fox animated shows like "American Dad" and "Family Guy."

That's the word from The Parents Television Council, a watchdog organization that calls itself non-partisan but is viewed by many to be a conservative interest group.

The three prime time programs above were declared as red light shows that are not suitable to children ages 2-17 who watch them. The PTC said it rated the top 20 broadcast TV programs that kids watch based on language, sexual content, violence and overall themes of each program.

The unsuitable six also include Fox's "House," the disgusting Fox reality show "Moment of Truth" and NBC's "Heroes," with "Heroes' presumably making the list because of its level of violence. If you're keeping score, five of the six "unsuitable" shows are on Fox. What a shock!

The PTC's annual ranking of the suitability of the TV shows that kids watch most were put in three categories -- green light for most suitable; yellow light for questionably suitable; and red light for unsuitable.

The most suitable green light group doesn't  include one scripted series. The list consists of five reality shows -- "American Idol," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader," "Don't Forget the Lyrics," "Deal or No Deal" and NBC Sunday Night Football.

The questionably suitable yellow light group includes six reality shows -- "Dancing with the Stars," "So You Think You Can Dance," "America's Got Talent," "Amazing Race," "Survivor" and "American Gladiators." The other two shows on the list are Fox animated series "King of the Hill" and "The Simpsons."

I'm guessing "Dancing with the Stars" makes the yellow list because some of the costumes are skimpy and some of the dances are suggestive.

Noticeably absent from the list of the top 20 prime time series with kids are any comedies starring real-life actors. Some readers might be surprised that several CBS comedies, including the popular "Two and a Half Men," didn't make the unsuitable list. That suggests something that is true locally -- very few young children watch them -- is also true nationally. 

What do you think of the list? And what do you think about the idea of the list?

-- Alan Pergament

   

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