Know the Ratings

What the TV Ratings Mean

Use the TV Ratings to locate programs you want your child to see. The TV Ratings, aka the TV Parental Guidelines, can help you to determine if a program is suitable for your child by outlining the show's target audience and possible content.

The TV Parental Guidelines include the following ratings:

Rating

Target Audience

TV-Y

All Children
This program is designed to be appropriate for all children.

TV-Y7

Directed to Older Children
This program is designed for children age 7 and above.

TV-Y7-FV

Directed to Older Children
This program is designed for children age 7 and above and includes strong fantasy violence.

TV-G

General Audience
Most parents would find this program suitable for all ages.

TV-PG

Parental Guidance Suggested
This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children.

TV-14

Parents Strongly Cautioned
This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children less than 14 years of age.

TV-MA

Mature Audience Only
This program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17.

And the following content labels that are added to the rating to identify the show's content:

Content Label

Program Content

V

Violence

S

Sexual situations

L

Coarse language

D

Suggestive dialogue

FV

Fantasy Violence

These ratings and content labels appear in the corner of your TV screen during the first 15 seconds of each television program. You can also find them with the television listings found in many magazines and newspapers.

What the Movie Ratings Mean

You may also see the familiar film ratings when an unedited theatrical movie airs on TV.

Content Label/Program Content

G

General Audiences. All Ages Admitted.
A G-rated motion picture contains nothing in theme, language, nudity, sex, violence or other matters that, in the view of the Rating Board, would offend parents whose younger children view the motion picture. The G rating is not a "certificate of approval," nor does it signify a "children's" motion picture. Some snippets of language may go beyond polite conversation but they are common everyday expressions. No stronger words are present in G-rated motion pictures. Depictions of violence are minimal. No nudity, sex scenes or drug use are present in the motion picture.

PG

Parental Guidance Suggested. Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children.
A PG-rated motion picture should be investigated by parents before they let their younger children attend. The PG rating indicates, in the view of the Rating Board, that parents may consider some material unsuitable for their children, and parents should make that decision. The more mature themes in some PG-rated motion pictures may call for parental guidance. There may be some profanity and some depictions of violence or brief nudity. But these elements are not deemed so intense as to require that parents be strongly cautioned beyond the suggestion of parental guidance. There is no drug use content in a PG-rated motion picture.

PG-13

Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13.
A PG-13 rating is a sterner warning by the Rating Board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture, as some material might not be suited for them. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category. The theme of the motion picture by itself will not result in a rating greater than PG-13, although depictions of activities related to a mature theme may result in a restricted rating for the motion picture. Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture's single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context. The Rating Board nevertheless may rate such a motion picture PG-13 if, based on a special vote by a two-thirds majority, the Raters feel that most American parents would believe that a PG-13 rating is appropriate because of the context or manner in which the words are used or because the use of those words in the motion picture is inconspicuous.

R

Restricted. Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian.
An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures.

NC-17

No One 17 and Under Admitted.
An NC-17 rated motion picture is one that, in the view of the Rating Board, most parents would consider patently too adult for their children 17 and under. No children will be admitted. NC-17 does not mean "obscene" or "pornographic" in the common or legal meaning of those words, and should not be construed as a negative judgment in any sense. The rating simply signals that the content is appropriate only for an adult audience. An NC-17 rating can be based on violence, sex, aberrational behavior, drug abuse or any other element that most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children

Learn more about TV ratings and content labels from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Learn more about the movie ratings.