recommends using the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
TV Parental Guidelines (VChip) or the Motion Picture Association of American
(MPAA) audience ratings system, depending on whether the resource
is intended for broadcast or movie theatre presentation.
Below are extended explanations of these audience ratings systems:
TV PARENTAL GUIDELINES:
The FCC TV Parental Guidelines append one or more flags for fantasy violence (FV), violence (V), sexual situations (S), language (L), and suggestive dialogue (D) to seven broader categories that describe the appropriateness of program material for various audiences.
The picklist of terms for this PBCore element provides you with all the permutations of these flags when associated with the different audiences. Explanations of these audiences and the increasing severity of the flags (V,S,L,D,FV) are provided here.
The following categories apply to programs designed solely for
- 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
- 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 violence
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. Note: For those programs
where fantasy violence may be more intense or more combative than
other programs in this category, such programs will be designated
TV-Y7-FV (fantasy violence).
The following categories apply to programs designed
for the entire audience:
- 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, 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:
(V) moderate violence
(S) some sexual situations
(L) infrequent coarse language
(D) suggestive dialogue
- 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 watch
unattended. This program contains one or more of the following:
(V) intense violence
(S) intense sexual situations
(L) strong coarse language
(D) intensely suggestive dialogue
- TV-MA 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:
(V) graphic violence
(S) explicit sexual activity
(L) crude, indecent language
- E No Rating
The value lists used by PBCore are structured in the same fashion as those used by the PBS PODS: Program Offer Data Service Metadata Dictionary. In the 1990s, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable Television Association and the Motion Picture Association of America created the TV Parental Guidelines, a voluntary ratings system for television programs. Since 2000, the FCC has required that all TV sets 13 inches or larger contain a V-chip allowing parents to block the viewing of programs with specific ratings. The PBS VChip Table describes all possible permutations of the ratings and subratings defined by the TV parental Guidelines list. The list is made available from this special PBS webpage:
MPAA MOVIE RATINGS:
Intended for general audiences. All ages are admitted.
Parental guidance is suggested. Some material may not be
suitable for children.
Parents strongly cautioned. Some materials may be inappropriate
for children under 13.
Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or
No one 17 and under admitted.