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:


All Children

This program is designed to be appropriate for all children. Whether animated or live action, the themes and elements in this program are specifically designed for a very young audience, including children from ages 2-6. This program is not expected to frighten younger children.


Directed to Older Children

This program is designed for children age 7 and above. It may be more appropriate for children who have acquired the developmental skills needed to distinguish between make-believe and reality. Themes and elements in this program may include mild fantasy or comedic violence, or may frighten children under the age of 7. Therefore, parents may wish to consider the suitability of this program for their very young children.


Directed to Older Children- Fantasy Violence

For those programs where fantasy violence may be more intense or more combative than other programs in the TV-Y7 category, such programs will be designated TV-Y7-FV.


General Audience

Most parents would find this program appropriate for all ages. Although this rating does not signify a program designed specifically for children, most parents may let younger children watch this program unattended. It contains little or no violence, no strong language and little or no sexual dialogue or situations.


Parental Guidance Suggested

This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children. Many parents may want to watch it with their younger children. The theme itself may call for parental guidance and/or the program contains one or more of the following: moderate violence (V), some sexual situations (S), infrequent coarse language (L), or some suggestive dialogue (D).


Parents Strongly Cautioned

This program contains some material that parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age. Parents are strongly urged to exercise greater care in monitoring this program and are cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 watch unattended. This program contains one or more of the following: intense violence (V), intense sexual situations (S), strong coarse language (L), or intensely suggestive dialogue (D).


Mature Audience Only

This program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17. This program contains one or more of the following: graphic violence (V), explicit sexual activity (S), or crude indecent language (L).

Content Labels

The following content labels are added to the rating to identify the show’s content.

  • D Suggestive Dialogue
  • L Coarse Language
  • S Sexual Situations
  • V Violence
  • FV Fantasy Violence

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

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

TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board

Have a comment?

The TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board oversees the TV ratings system and works to ensure uniformity and consistency in the Parental Guidelines. The Board also reviews complaints about program ratings. To comment or raise concerns about TV ratings, contact the Board.