TV Ratings

In 1996, the television industry created the TV Parental Guidelines — a voluntary rating system designed to give parents information about the content of television programs. This system provides parents with information about the content and age-appropriateness of television programs.

These ratings can be used in conjunction with the V-Chip blocking device contained in many television sets, and with the parental controls in cable set-top boxes, to filter out unwanted programs.

Here are the ratings:


All Children
Read More 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. Hide


Directed to Older Children
Read More 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. Hide


Directed to Older Children-Fantasy Violence
Read More 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. Hide


General Audience
Read More 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. Hide


Parental Guidance Suggested
Read More 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). Hide

TV 14

Parents Strongly Cautioned
Read More 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). Hide


Mature Audiences Only
Read More 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). Hide

V Chip

If you don't have a set-top box, your TV set may provide control features. All television sets 13-inches or larger manufactured after January 2000, and some sets sold after July 1, 1999, contain technology called the V-Chip. The V-Chip technology utilizes the industry's TV ratings system to block programs that may be of concern. If you bought your television in 2000 or later, it is likely to have a V-Chip. This device electronically reads a signal embedded in the programming and enables parents to choose the programs that they deem appropriate for their family.

The V-Chip can block by ratings which are both age and content-based. You may be familiar with the icons that appear at the beginning of television programs in the lower right-hand corner of the TV screen for the first 15 seconds of the program.

The V-Chip works differently from set to set, depending on the manufacturer. The set-up process for your V-chip can be found in the on-screen menu options or in the set's instruction manual. It is controlled through your TV set's remote.

Movie Ratings

G Rating

G — General Audiences.

Read More All Ages Admitted. A G-rated motion picture contains nothing in theme, language, nudity, sex, violence or other matters that, in the view of the Rating Board, would offend parents whose younger children view the motion picture. The G rating is not a "certificate of approval," nor does it signify a "children's" motion picture. Some snippets of language may go beyond polite conversation but they are common everyday expressions. No stronger words are present in G-rated motion pictures. Depictions of violence are minimal. No nudity, sex scenes or drug use are present in the motion picture. Hide

PG Rating

PG — Parental Guidance Suggested.

Read More Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children. A PG-rated motion picture should be investigated by parents before they let their younger children attend. The PG rating indicates, in the view of the Rating Board, that parents may consider some material unsuitable for their children, and parents should make that decision. The more mature themes in some PG-rated motion pictures may call for parental guidance. There may be some profanity and some depictions of violence or brief nudity. But these elements are not deemed so intense as to require that parents be strongly cautioned beyond the suggestion of parental guidance. There is no drug use content in a PG-rated motion picture. Hide

PG-13 Rating

PG-13 — Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Read More Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13. A PG-13 rating is a sterner warning by the Rating Board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture, as some material might not be suited for them. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category. The theme of the motion picture by itself will not result in a rating greater than PG-13, although depictions of activities related to a mature theme may result in a restricted rating for the motion picture. Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture's single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context. The Rating Board nevertheless may rate such a motion picture PG-13 if, based on a special vote by a two-thirds majority, the Raters feel that most American parents would believe that a PG-13 rating is appropriate because of the context or manner in which the words are used or because the use of those words in the motion picture is inconspicuous. Hide

R Rating

R — Restricted.

Read More Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian. An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures. Hide

NC-17 — No One 17 and Under Admitted.

Read More An NC-17 rated motion picture is one that, in the view of the Rating Board, most parents would consider patently too adult for their children 17 and under. No children will be admitted. NC-17 does not mean "obscene" or "pornographic" in the common or legal meaning of those words, and should not be construed as a negative judgment in any sense. The rating simply signals that the content is appropriate only for an adult audience. An NC-17 rating can be based on violence, sex, aberrational behavior, drug abuse or any other element that most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children. Hide

NC-17 Rating

Common Sense Media

Comcast has partnered with Common Sense Media to integrate comprehensive ratings for content on XFINITY TV. The Parent Guide comes preloaded in many content listings. Just click on the link and get a quick assessment of the content related to Positive Messages, Violence, Sex, Language, Consumerism, Drinking & Drugs. For more information go to Common Sense Media.

Common Sense Media

Want a quick movie rating? Check out where you can enter a Movie Title and get the movie rating, as well as reasoning behind the rating.