Summary: TV's Family Hour Has More Violence and Sexual Content than Ever

Primetime network family hour programming contains an average of one instance of objectionable content every 3.5 minutes of non-commercial airtime. Since 2000-2001, violence in the family hour has increased by 52.4% and the amount of sexual content has increased by 22.1%.

  • Traditionally known as the Family Hour, the first hour of prime time (8pm to 9pm on Mondays through Saturdays, and 7pm to 9pm on Sundays) was once a place for programming the whole family could enjoy. In recent years, however, all the major TV networks have pushed more adult programming to these early hours of the evening. A comprehensive study of network programming during the first hour of primetime television conducted by the Parents Television Council (PTC) shows that objectionable content occurs every 3.5 minutes of non-commercial airtime. Incidents of violence and sexual content rose by 52.4 and 22.1 percent, respectively, since the last comprehensive study done in 2000-2001. Foul language incidents decreased by 25.4%. Rerun programming during family hour contained 19.76 instances of objectionable content, 58% more than original programming. The contents of this report should be alarming to everybody involved: parents, advertisers, and network executives. Parents, in particular, must actively oppose the broadcasts networks' efforts to reduce decency standards by pressuring local broadcast affiliated to air inappropriate programming and by pressuring advertisers to stop underwriting offensive Family Hour content.1

1The Alarming Family Hour: A Content Analysis of Sex, Foul Language, and Violence during Network Television's Family Hour, Parents Television Council, September 2007.

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