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The Top 10 in Family Television

By JoAnn Hamilton
September 7, 2005

Parents Television Council (PTC) rates the best and worst shows on the seven major broadcast networks at the conclusion of each prime time network television season. For this rating, PTC does not examine artistic quality but rather measures the family appropriateness of a series from a content perspective. They say, “Particular consideration is given to shows that are more likely to be seen by children because of the time the programs air. “Prime time” is considered 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.”

I haven't seen any of these shows, but I thought you might be interested in the PTC evaluation.

No. 1 Joan of Arcadia was also ranked #1 last season. According to PTC, this program “maintained its status as the most profoundly pro-faith and pro-family program on television in its second season. Centered on teenager Joan Girardi's relationship with God, who appears to her in various forms, Joan managed to be relevant and uplifting. ... Sadly, CBS chose to cancel this series.”

No. 2 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition serves as an excellent example of a constructive and inspiring reality TV show, according to PTC.

No. 3 Sue Thomas: F B Eye is “a crime-drama series that is warm, funny and contains no offensive language, inappropriate sexuality, or gratuitous violence. ... (It) is based on the true story of a deaf woman who was hired by the F.B.I. to aid with surveillance work because of her ability to read lips. This season marked the series finale, but the show will continue airing in syndication.

No. 4 Doc: “A country doctor finds himself in the bustling metropolis of New York where his homespun values and friendly disposition provide a striking contrast to the jaded and impersonal city environment.”

No. 5 Reba: “Despite the off-putting premise of a divorcee whose husband cheated on her and whose daughter got pregnant while still in high school Reba manages to deal with difficult subject matter without relying on cheap innuendo or vulgarity. This series successfully blends humor with serious messages about personal responsibility, compassion, and the importance of family.”

No. 6 Everybody Loves Raymond: “Strong family messages were again featured in this ninth and final season of the wildly popular series. ... The family wasn't always in perfect harmony, but their love for each other was obvious and the laughs abundant in this family sitcom.”

No. 7 Bernie Mac deals with Bernie and Wanda taking care of his sister's children. “Bernie thinks he knows everything there is to know about parenting. However, the children repeatedly prove him wrong.”

No. 8 American Dreams is “a heartwarming, realistic portrayal of two American families – one white and one African American – living in turbulent 1960s Philadelphia. ... (It) communicates positive messages and historical information.”

No. 9 Listen Up, according to PTC features Tony Kleinman as an irreverent TV sports show host who loves his job, but the true center of his world is his wife and children. The episodes feature traditional “lessons learned.”

No. 10 7th Heaven “continues to be one of the most wholesome and inoffensive programs on television. Minister Eric Camden and his wife Annie gently guide their seven children while dealing with life's ups and downs.” 7th Heaven deals responsibly with complicated issues and strong family values are the show's hallmark.

For guidance about television shows, you will find information on the PTC Family TV Guide at www.parentsTV.org.

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