Rating System Wiki

The TV Parental Guidelines system for the United States is a voluntary-participation system for TV programs, with ratings to be determined by the individual participating broadcast and cable networks. It was first proposed on December 19, 1996 by the United States Congress, the television industry, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and went into effect on January 1, 1997, on most major U.S. broadcast and cable networks in response to public concerns of increasingly explicit sexual content, graphic violence, real gambling and strong profanity in television programs.

The guidelines are as follows. Often content descriptors will be used to specify the type of content in the program.


Child-Specific Ratings

  • 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. Equivalent to soft G for movies and former EC and current soft E for video games.
  • 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 fantasy violence or comedic violence or may fear children under the age of 7. Therefore, parents may wish to consider the suitability of this program for their very young children. Equivalent to hard G and soft PG for movies and hard E and soft E10+ for video games.

Standard Ratings

  • TV-G (General Audience) Most parents would find this program suitable for all ages. Although this rating does not signify a program designed specifically for children (because TV-Y uses it), 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. Equivalent to G for movies and E for video games. It Is The Only Standard Rating To Be an E/I Rating
  • 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 may contain one or more of the following: mildly suggestive dialogue (D), infrequent coarse language (L), some sexual content (S), or mild violence (V). Equivalent to PG for movies and E10+ for video games.
  • TV-14 (Parents Strongly Cautioned) This program contains some material that many 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 watches unattended. This program may contain one or more of the following: intensely suggestive dialogue (D), strong coarse language (L), intense sexual content (S), or intense violence (V). Equivalent to PG-13 for movies and T for video games.

Restricted Ratings

Partially Restricted Ratings

  • TV-MA (Mature Accompaniment) This program does not allow for children under 17 Without A Parent Or Guardian. This program may contain one or more of the following: cruel indecent language (L), explicit sexual activity (S), or graphic violence (V). Equivalent to R for movies and M for video games. This rating was originally known as TV-M from January until July 1997.

Content descriptors

The content descriptors commonly seen with the main ratings are as follows:

  • FV: Fantasy violence (only used with the TV-Y7 rating for action-oriented children's shows).
  • D: Used with the TV-PG and TV-14 rating to denote the use of sexually suggestive dialogue (usually sexual references). It is not intended to be used in TV-MA and 18+ shows (but some networks opt them).
  • L: Used with the TV-PG, TV-14,TV-MA, and 18+ rating to denote instances of crude, offensive language (profanity, vulgar slang, racial and ethnic slurs, etc.).
  • S: Used with the TV-PG, TV-14,TV-MA, And 18+ rating to denote instances of sexual content (including visual innuendo and intercourse).
  • V: Used with the TV-PG, TV-14,TV-MA, And 18+ rating to denote instances of violence.


Restricted Ratings Can Only Air Between 10:00pm to 6:00am To Count This Minimum


For the gallery, see TV Parental Guidelines/Gallery.

TV Parental Guidelines rating system
TV-Y icon.svg TV-Y7 icon.svg TV-G icon.svg TV-PG icon.svg TV-14 icon.svg TV-MA icon.svg