Four Fox network programs, led by the comedies “The War at Home,” “The Family Guy” and “American Dad,” topped a parents group’s annual listing of the worst prime-time shows for family viewing.
The Parents Television Council rated two aspirational reality shows, ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and NBC’s new “Three Wishes,” as the best programs for family viewing.
The group’s president, L. Brent Bozell, said he was alarmed that the three Fox Sunday night comedies are being marketed as family friendly.
“Families should not be deceived,” he said. “The top three worst shows all contain crude and raunchy dialogue with sex-themed jokes and foul language. Even worse is the fact that Hollywood is peddling its filth to families with cartoons.”
A Fox spokesman said the network never comments on reports by the Parents Television Council.
The Fox drama “The O.C.” was fourth on the group’s list of worst prime-time shows for families. Add in “That ’70s Show” and “Arrested Development,” and the network that tries to be hip for young viewers makes up 60 percent of the list.
Television’s two most popular programs — “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Desperate Housewives — are also cited as bad family viewing. So were “Two and a Half Men” and “Cold Case” on CBS.
The group said it makes its determinations based on the amount of bad language and sexual and violent content, giving more weight to shows that appear earlier in the evening when children are likely to be awake, said Melissa Caldwell, its research director.
Fox’s “American Idol,” which returns in January, made the group’s list of best family viewing experiences. Two new shows, CBS’ “The Ghost Whisperer” and UPN’s “Everybody Hates Chris,” also made it.
Bozell said the group couldn’t even come up with 10 prime-time shows it would recommend for family viewing. Its list stops at nine.