TV Parental Guidelines Rating System

The TV Parental Guideline System on VFTG USA

In 1996, the United States Congress and the television industry designed a voluntary rating system, known as The TV Parental Guidelines. Similar to cinema ratings, they are designed to provide parents with more information about the content and age appropriateness of programs. These are displayed in the top left corner of the screen, at the beginning of a program, these are the symbols and what they mean.

The Unites States and some other countries like Australia have their own television ratings systems, which are different from the ratings systems used by Canadian broadcasters. Viewers in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom may notice different classification icons or find that their V-chip does not work on some foreign channels.

The direct availability of foreign stations in Canada is different from Canadian stations airing foreign-produced programs in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. Even if a program was made in another country, the Canadian station must include a Canadian rating on it. The same applies in Australia and the United Kingdom.

These ratings and content labels appear in the left hand corner of your screen during the first 60 seconds of each full VFTG episode. The rating icon rotates from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.

 

The Ratings in the United States

TV Rating Table (United States only)

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. 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.
TV-Y7 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.
TV-Y7-FV 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.
TV-G 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.
TV-PG 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).
TV-14 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).
TV-MA (United States) 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).

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

 

 

The Ratings in Canada

The ratings classification system used by Canadian English-language and third-language broadcasters was developed by the Action Group on Violence on Television (AGVOT) during the mid-1990s. The system was approved by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in June 1997 and was implemented by broadcasters in September 1997.

The Canadian TV Parental Guidelines include the following ratings:

 

Rating Target Audience
C

C – Children

Programming intended for children with this designation must adhere to the provisions of the Children’s section of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Violence Code.

As this programming is intended for younger children under the age of 8 years, it will pay careful attention to themes which could threaten their sense of security and well-being. As programming for children requires particular caution in the depiction of violence, there will be no realistic scenes of violence. Depictions of aggressive behaviour will be infrequent and limited to portrayals that are clearly imaginary and unrealistic in nature.

Violence Guidelines

  • might contain occasional comedic, unrealistic depictions

Other Content Guidelines

  • Language: no offensive language
  • Sex/Nudity: none
C8

C8 – Children Over 8 Years

This classification is applied to children’s programming that is generally considered acceptable for youngsters 8 years and over to view on their own. It is suggested that a parent/guardian co-view programming assigned this classification with younger children under the age of 8.

Programming with this designation adheres to the provisions of the Children’s section of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Violence Code. These include not portraying violence as the preferred, acceptable, or only way to resolve conflict; or encouraging children to imitate dangerous acts which they may see on the screen.

Programming within this classification might deal with themes which could be unsuitable for younger children. References to any such controversial themes shall be discreet and sensitive to the 8-12 year age range of this viewing group.

Violence Guidelines

  • any realistic depictions will be infrequent, discreet, of low intensity, and shall portray the consequences of violence
  • violence portrayed must be within the context of the storyline or character development
  • might include mild physical violence, comedic violence, comic horror, special effects; fantasy, supernatural, or animated violence

Other Content Guidelines

  • Language: no profanity; might have infrequent use of language which may be considered by some to be socially offensive or discriminatory, and then only if employed within the context of storyline or character development.
  • Sex/Nudity: none
TV-G_icon (CAN)

G – General

Considered acceptable for all age groups. Appropriate viewing for the entire family.

This programming intended for a broad, general audience. While not designed specifically for children, it is understood that younger viewers may be part of the audience. Therefore programming within this classification shall contain very little violence, either physical, verbal or emotional.

It will be sensitive to themes which could threaten a younger child’s sense of security, and will depict no realistic scenes of violence which minimize or gloss over the effects of violent acts.

Violence Guidelines

  • minimal, infrequent
  • may contain comedic, unrealistic depictions
  • contains no frightening special effects not required by storyline

Other Content Guidelines

  • Language: may contain offensive slang; no profanity
  • Sex/Nudity: none
TV-PG_icon (CAN)

PG – Parental Guidance

This programming, while intended for a general audience, may not be suitable for younger children (under the age of 8). Parents/guardians should be aware that there might be content elements which some could consider inappropriate for unsupervised viewing by children in the 8-13 age range.

Programming within this classification might address controversial themes or issues. Cognizant that pre-teens and early teens could be part of this viewing group, particular care must be taken not to encourage imitational behaviour, and consequences of violent actions shall not be minimized.

Violence Guidelines

  • any depiction of conflict and/or aggression will be limited and moderate; it might include physical, fantasy, or supernatural violence
  • any such depictions should not be pervasive, and must be justified within the context of theme, storyline or character development

Other Content Guidelines

  • Language:     might contain infrequent and mild profanity; might contain mildly suggestive language
  • Sex/Nudity:   could possibly contain brief scenes of nudity; might have limited and discreet sexual references or content when appropriate to the storyline or theme
TV-14_icon (CAN)

14+ – Over 14 Years

Programming with this classification contains themes or content elements which might not be suitable for viewers under the age of 14. Parents are strongly cautioned to exercise discretion in permitting viewing by pre-teens and early teens without parent/guardian supervision, as programming with this classification could deal with mature themes and societal issues in a realistic fashion.

Violence Guidelines

  • while violence could be one of the dominant elements of the storyline, it must be integral to the development of plot or character
  • might contain intense scenes of violence

Other Content Guidelines

  • Language: could possibly include strong or frequent use of profanity
  • Sex/Nudity: might include scenes of nudity and/or sexual activity within the context of narrative or theme
TV-MA_icon (CAN)

18 + – Adults

Intended for viewers 18 years and older.

This classification applies to programming which could contain any or all of the following content elements which would make the program unsuitable for viewers under the age of 18.

Violence Guidelines

  • might contain depictions of violence, which while integral to the development of plot, character or themes, are intended for adult viewing, and thus are not suitable for audiences under 18 years of age.

Other Content Guidelines

  • Language: might contain graphic language
  • Sex/Nudity: might contain explicit portrayals of sex and/or nudity

 

 

The Ratings in the United Kingdom

Even though the United Kingdom does not have such a system yet on occasions, TV channels in Britain will provide a warning for sexual/disturbing content, but Aeverine Zinn Holdings has implemented a similar system used in the United States as a community service and as a benefit to the viewers of Vote for the Girls USA in the United Kingdom. In addition to as a condition of posting uncensored editions of Vote for the Girls USA in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom TV Parental Guidelines imposed by Aeverine Zinn Holdings are based on the British Board of of Film Classification include the following ratings:

 

TV-G_icon (UK)

U – Universal (Suitable for all)

General viewing. Most parents would find this episode 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.

A U programme should be suitable for audiences aged four years and over, although it is impossible to predict what might upset any particular child. It contains little or no violence, no strong language and little or no sexual dialogue or situations.

Most episodes of Vote for the Girls: Junior Edition will fall in this rating since it contains absolutely no strong language (or profanity), no violence, and no sexual dialogue or situations.

TV-PG_icon (UK)

P – Parental Guidance

This episode contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children. Many parents may want to watch it with their younger children. General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.  A P programme should not unsettle a child aged around eight or older. Unaccompanied children of any age may watch, but parents are advised to consider whether the content may upset younger, or more sensitive, children.

Most episodes of Vote for the Girls: Junior Edition and on a rare occasions, episodes of Vote for the Girls USA, will fall in this rating since it contains very little or none of the following: strong language (other than Damn ), no violence, and no sexual dialogue or situations. Additionally, tobacco use is not shown in the episode.

TV-14_icon (UK)

15 – Suitable only for 15 years and over

No one younger than 15 years of age may view this programme. This episode contains some material that parents would find unsuitable for children under 15 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 15 watch unattended. This episode contains one or more of the following: intense violence, intense sexual situations, strong coarse language, or intensely suggestive dialogue .

TV-MA_icon (UK)

18 – Suitable only for adults

No one younger than 18 years of age may view this programme. This episode is specifically designed to be viewed by adults (ages 18 and up). This program contains one or more of the following: explicit violence, explicit sexual content and/or activity, or crude indecent language.

NOTE: Most of the uncensored versions of Vote for the Girls USA shown on the Vote for the Girls UK YouTube channel have this rating in addition to the United States’ TV-MA, Canada’s 18+, and Australia’s 15+ and/or R18+.

The Ratings in Australia

The Australian TV Parental Guidelines include the following ratings:

 

Rating Target Audience
TV-G_icon (AU)

G – General

General exhibition, suitable for all ages but not necessarily intended for children. Content is VERY MILD in impact. G content may air at any time of day.

TV-PG_icon (AU)

PG – Parental Guidance Recommended

Parental guidance is recommended for young viewers. Content is MILD in impact; Elements in these programs may require parental supervision for young children. PG content may air at any time of the day, on any network (as of 1 December 2015).

TV-14_icon (AU)

MA 15+ – Mature Accompanied

Not suitable for people under 15. Content is STRONG in impact; It is advised people under the age of 15 do not view these programs, due to the strength of the elements within. MA15+ programming may only be broadcast between 8:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on any given day. Consumer advice is mandatory.

TV-14_icon (AU 1)

M – Mature

Recommended for mature audiences. Content is MODERATE in impact; These programs may require a mature perspective and are deemed not suitable for all children. Mature age may vary, though generally considered around 10. M content may only be broadcast between 7:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on any day, and additionally between 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on schooldays.

TV-MA_icon (AU) - RESTRICTED

R 18+ – Restricted

Not suitable for people under 18. Violence and/or profanity is STRONG in impact; this classification on Vote for the Girls USA the same as TV-MA in the United States and 18 in the United Kingdom. Although R18+ are not permitted to air on Free-to-Air TV in Australia, this category is currently used specifically for extremely strong coarse language and/or violence. Consumer advice is mandatory.

 

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