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Should TV Networks Have a Family Hour?

That picture up there? That's "American Dad," otherwise known as the most objectionable show on television, according to the Parents Television Council. The group issued a report this week that said the show had more violent, sexual and profane content than any other show on TV, and its network, Fox, was singled out as the worst network for children (the CW ranked the cleanest; bet that changes after "Gossip Girl" comes out).

One thing "American Dad" has going for it is that it airs later in the night, at 9:30 p.m., when many young children are likely to be in bed. A key finding of the council's study was the increase in profanity, violence and sexual content during the "family hour" of 8 to 9 p.m. (and 7 to 8 p.m. on Sundays). Violence was up more than 50 percent since the council's 2001 study, according to the report, while sexual content jumped 22 percent.

This has led the group to ask for more clean content during the family hour. On the one hand, I see a need for shows that parents and kids can watch together. On the other hand, a lot of good 8 p.m. shows certainly wouldn't be classified as "clean" ("30 Rock," anyone?). Do you think the networks should have an hour each night devoted to family-friendly programming?

Photo courtesy of Fox

Join The Conversation
Mykie7 Mykie7 9 years
No no and NO! This is absolutely ridiculous. IF YOU PARENTS DON'T LIKE WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE WATCHING TURN OFF THE TV! It isn't the job of the networks, TV executives or news media to be sure that's what on TV doesn't offend us or influence our kids. As parents, that is OUR job. For years I didn't allow my kids to watch the simpsons until I KNEW they were at a point to understand that humor. How hard was it, wow, I don't know, flicking that little switch was so hard...
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i dunno. i don't watch tv shows on a television.
demeter demeter 9 years
No way! If the parents don't like what's on tv, they can always turn on a movie or go to Disney Channel. Why should we have a family hour and waste everyone else's time because parents want something to complain about?
mrskrismendoza mrskrismendoza 9 years
If you don't want to watch it, TURN IT OFF. No one is forcing you to watch it.
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
If you want "family hour" with the family, it should be with the family not the family sitting in front of the tv.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
Maybe, just not a full hour. Most of the shows I love would probably be hated by parent groups. If they don't like the show, just block it on your t.v., not ours. I like American Dad and Family guy plus a bunch of other "questionable" shows. I mean a 10yr old will hear swear words from their friends, so what the show says shouldn't be shocking. If you teach you child the right way - the violence, swear words and whatever shouldn't affect them; if their taught right they'll know right from wrong. While those groups are at it, why not duck-tape the mouths of random people on the street since your kid might hear them say something raunchy and your kid might pick up on it.
koolbr33z3 koolbr33z3 9 years
If you don't like it then turn off the TV. No one is making you watch and you are the one with the remote.
tralalala tralalala 9 years
If you don't like it, turn it off. If you don't want your kids to watch things that you consider to be inappropriate, but are still too lazy to parent them or do things that are non tv related, rent a kid friendly dvd, put it on, and stop complaining.
Phil Phil 9 years
yeah, I knew I was stretching a bit far with that suggestion! I would have suggested Jenga, but that can be construed as phallic. :\
misslarue misslarue 9 years
Sounds like I need to start watching American Dad!
controlledspin controlledspin 9 years
Phil - Scrabble without foul language or sexual suggestion? Well, that's just no fun. ;) JK
Phil Phil 9 years
HAHA! I just did a report on the FCC for a class and a large portion was devoted to the PTC and their attempts to bring back the Family Viewing Hour which was implemented in 1975 on the schedule of the three major networks. The problem with this was that it was unbinding and no public hearing was ever made regarding the proposed Family Viewing Hour It was discontinued in 1977. During that period between '75 and '77, ratings in the 8-9 hour dropped as some of the networks' most popular shows had to be shuffled. It's a nice concept, but not something that should be implemented during prime time. That's why Pax exists. And, of course, there is an alternative to television when it comes to spending time with family. Scrabble is a much more mentally stimulating activity that doesn't have to include sexually suggestive and foul language! As for the PTC, they are a bunch of kooks. They're such a righteous organization. I may be biased as they berated House as the most vile figure on television. Pheh! What's wrong with PBS? THere is some excellent programming on PBS on a nightly basis and Nova or Scientific American Frontiers or Globe Trekker can be highly enjoyable programs to watch with the family.
krock19 krock19 9 years
I don't think its necessary to get children addicted to TV at young age.
DarkRayne DarkRayne 9 years
I hate TV. Whatever happened to the comedies that were actually funny years ago, the writers today are a bunch of idiots, who need to get their minds out of the gutter and actually learn to write or go back to school. There is basically nothing you would want kids to watch today after 8pm.
JustSomeChick JustSomeChick 9 years
Network TV is the only option my daughter has as I think cable is a waste of money. We don't watch enough TV to incur that cost. When she watches TV, she watches PBSKids until the evening news programs come on. I try to limit her TV time after that, because there really isn't anything very "kid-friendly" on, even in the evenings. As someone above said, everything is full of innuendo. I can't even watch Friends reruns in front of her because there really is a lot of inappropriate comments for a seven year old. That being said, although we do activities together outside of television watching, it would be nice if there were a choice of kid-friendly shows in the evening.
controlledspin controlledspin 9 years
I would think that this was more of an issue when there were only the major networks to go to for things to watch. My two kids (when they watch tv) very rarely ever watch network tv - they are always watching Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, etc. So to me, it isn't really too much of an issue. But in the same respect, I used to LOVE TGIF when I was little, so it would be kinda cool to still have that. I also wonder if the major networks would actually get the viewers for these type of shows BECAUSE of the other 'kid' networks that are out there right now.
Fab_Kitty Fab_Kitty 9 years
Phasekitty, I think your point about censorship is certainly valid. However, a request that broadcasters provide at least a little content that is appropriate for all ages is far from censorship. It is a request for self-regulation. In the U.S. it has been traditionally understood that the public owns the broadcasting spectrum (until recently a highly limited resource) and in exchange for the privilege of receiving licenses to use portions of the spectrum broadcasters have a duty to serve the public's interest. Thus, broadcasters have a duty to provide educational programming, news programming, the opportunity of equal airtime for political candidates, etc. As we all can guess, advances in technology which permit increased use of the public broadcasting spectrum is calling into question the limited resource paradigm... regardless I think there is a huge difference between censorship (which is roughly defined as government's prior restraint of publication, including printing, airing, publicly speaking, etc.) and requesting that broadcasters consider their contribution to our nation's discourse rather than just caring about which programming will bring in the most ad revenue.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Parents should do more with their kids than complaining about whether TV should have an hour for family. Play games do something but stop blaming TV netwirks for your inadequacies in stopping your kids from watching sugh stuff. In esseence, get over it.
caitinlv caitinlv 9 years
With VCR and DVR available, people can watch what they want whenever they want. Networks have to go with what gets them ratings. And people who are *that* concerned about family should probably shut the TV off and spend some time with theirs.
LuciLu LuciLu 9 years
well if a family is concerned about whats on tv, TURN IT OFF. go outside, play a boardgame. TV should not be the entertainment of young children and family. Movie nights are fine, and the occasional show, but it shouldnt be the networks job to make sure a family gets quality time. *steps off soapbox* ;)
ALSW ALSW 9 years
I don't think every night should have a family hour, but I admit that growing up, I did enjoy TGIF - it was something my family always tuned into. But otherwise, no, family hour should be spent with families and it's up to me to censor what my (future) kids can and cannot watch.
CollegeGirl CollegeGirl 9 years
When I was growing up, there were so many family-friendly shows on the air. I watch TV now and wonder where are the Cosby Shows and Full Houses of this generation? Every show is so full of innuendo. It's sad.
Phasekitty Phasekitty 9 years
Networks should do whatever they please- I'm fully against censorship. If you don't want your kids to see it, turn it off. Besides, get your ass off the couch and play a board game or something. Quality time shouldn't include the television.
Historygal3 Historygal3 9 years
"family hour" should be spent with the family, not watching tv.
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