A Parent's Guide to the TV Ratings and the V-Chip
ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX have partnered with the Ad Council to bring parents up-to-date information on the V-Chip, a powerful tool that enables them to manage the programming their children watch even when a parent is not in the room. The V-Chip works in conjunction with the television industry's unified ratings system to block out programming parents deem inappropriate for their children to watch.
The television industry designed the ratings system to give parents more information about the content and age-appropriateness of TV programs. These ratings, called the TV Parental Guidelines, are modeled after the familiar movie ratings which parents have known and valued for nearly 30 years. They are designed to be simple to use, easy to understand, and handy to find. The ratings apply to all television programs, with the exception of Sports and News, and appear in the corner of the television screen at the beginning of a program, in TV programming guides, and on each network's website in conjunction with online programming listings.
The TV Parental Guidelines can be used in conjunction with the V-Chip - a device built into most new television sets - to allow parents to block out programs they do not want their children to see. The V-Chip electronically reads the TV programming ratings and allows parents to block programs they believe are unsuitable for their children. To use the V-Chip, parents just need to activate it using the television's on-set menu or owner's manual.