TV ratings system nears OK

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Television industry executives have tentatively agreed to a ratings system that will categorize programs based on their appropriateness for children of various ages, the Washington Post reports today.

Viewers would begin seeing the ratings on almost all entertainment programs starting next month, according to the paper. It added that the industry’s plans will be formally announced before Christmas.

Unidentified executives are quoted as saying that the system will be loosely based on the broad categories used by the Motion Picture Assn. of America for rating movies.

The MPAA uses letters and numbers to indicate a movie’s suitability for young people – G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17.

Members of the ratings development group told the Post they chose the MPAA system as a model because it is simple and familiar to parents.

They rejected plans from educators, children’s advocates and some TV producers, who proposed that the ratings derive from content – say, S for sexually oriented material, V for violence and L for coarse language.

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