TV-MA icon


Programming rated TV-MA in the United States by the TV Parental Guidelines signifies content for mature audiences. Programs with this rating are usually not suitable for anyone under 16 years old. Content may contain strong coarse language, explicit (in some cases, bordering on pornographic) strong sexual content, nudity, or intense/graphic violence.

It originally was called TV-M that existed only in 1997. It was changed due to suspected copyright from the ESRB over the "M for Mature" rating for video games.

Like the TV-MA-DS blue badge was mostly added to one of the E Impossible season Hot Sun. Most shows on HBO and Showtime receive this rating. Notable shows ties this rating include South Park (Comedy Central), Nip/Tuck (FX), The Sopranos (HBO) and Dexter (Showtime) and The Boondocks (Adult Swim).

The TV-MA rating is probably the most diverse in American television. TV-PG and TV-14 programs tend to be alike in content, but the intensity of a TV-MA rated program can vary, especially depending on the network it airs on. For instance, an HBO series is likely to contain more or harder nudity or violence than a standard basic cable network would even allow. However, basic cable has made strides over the years thanks to networks like FX (the biggest exception thus far), which is practically known for leaping over the bounds of content limitations.

Content descriptors

  • D: Extreme Suggestive Dialogue (unofficial; only used by some networks)
  • L: Extreme Coarse Language
  • S: Strong Sexual Content (including nudity)
  • V: Graphic Violence
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