The nation's leading conservative family media watchdog group has released its annual guide to help parents navigate the new television lineup this fall.
With children back in school and television networks airing new series, officials at the Parents Television Council have released a list of what new shows families should avoid and what shows family can feel safe in letting their children watch.
In attending the Paley Center for Media's Fall TV Preview, PTC got a sneak peek at some of the new fall TV programs.
"We are happy to report that there are a number of new TV shows on prime-time broadcast television that appear to be safe for children and families to watch together this fall, and that hasn't always been the case in recent years," PTC President Tim Winter said in a statement.
In the following pages are PTC's top-three picks for "best" and "worst" series this fall.
3 Best Shows of Fall 2018
PTC ranks the CW's new series "All American" as a safe bet for family-friendly entertainment and arguably the "most inspirational" show in the new fall lineup.
PTC praised "All-American" for showing that "black and white, rich and poor can coexist together."
"All-American" is about a promising young high school football player named Spencer James from inner city Los Angeles who is given an opportunity to play for a team in Beverly Hills.
The series focuses on his life as he commutes from his impoverished neighborhood in Crenshaw to the wealthy town in Los Angeles County. Spencer struggles to maintain friendships in both communities.
The All-American will air on Oct. 10.
"'All American' is a joy, an inspirational, extremely well-crafted and well-acted tale of two worlds, and the young man who moves between them, navigating hazards all the way," the PTC guide explains. "The program avoids making either Beverly Hills or Crenshaw look perfect; life in each is shown to come with its own plusses, pitfalls, and perils, all of which require dedication and strength of character to overcome."
ABC's "The Rookie" starring Nathan Fillion (of "Castle" fame) will air its first episode on Oct. 16. The series is based on true events surrounding a 40-year-old man named John Nolan who became the oldest rookie at the Los Angeles Police Department.
Nolan's life changed completely when his wife divorced him and he was almost murdered in a bank robbery. He decided to join the police force and the series shows his "uphill battle for acceptance."
"Containing only mild language and unremarkable violence typical of a police series, 'The Rookie' is a safe and enjoyable choice for families," PTC declares.
The first episode of the new CBS series starring Cedric the Entertainer aired on Monday night.
Cedric plays Calvin Butler, a 50-year-old African-American man who is negative about many things, including white people. Butler is upset when an upbeat white couple move into his traditionally black neighborhood.
"Calvin Butler follows firmly in the footsteps of Archie Bunker ["All in the Family"] and George Jefferson ["The Jeffersons"], bringing both honesty and humor to his role," PTC states. "Even more admirable is "The Neighborhood's" message: given the divisions in society today — over politics, race, and nearly everything else — America desperately needs a show that proves we can all get along ... especially one that teaches its message of tolerance and mutual respect with humor."
PTC states that the show provides an "important message" that will serve as a "teaching moment" for parents.
3 Worst Shows of Fall 2018
The CBS reboot of the 1980s crime drama series focusing on former Navy SEAL Thomas Magnum, who works as a private investigator in Hawaii, drew the ire of PTC. PTC declares that it's "far from the light-hearted action-adventure original."
The series aired on Sept. 24.
"Instead, this "Magnum" is filled with frequent and extremely explicit violence and gore," PTC declared.
One example is a scene where Magnum finds his friends tortured to death. In the scene, PTC reports, the camera lingers on the bloodied corpse in a close-up shot. Another example is a scene where Magnum is subject to an excruciating beating that makes him pass out.
"Utterly lacking the intelligent, fun, upbeat atmosphere of the original (not to mention the charisma of Tom Selleck), the new 'Magnum P.I.' is a morose, blood-soaked, totally unnecessary 'update,'" the guide states. "Viewers should do themselves (and their children) a favor — and watch a rerun of the original 'Magnum, P.I.' instead."
"The Cool Kids"
Fox's new comedy series premiered on Sept. 28 and centers on three male residents of a retirement community. The men are forced to deal with the arrival of a female occupant.
From talking about giving longshoremen enemas to discussing "boner pills," PTC found reasons for parents not to let their children watch "The Cool Kids."
"Set at the Shady Meadows Retirement Community, cranky African-American Hank, flamboyant gay man Sid, confused former addict Charlie, and free spirit Margaret consider themselves "the cool kids," always looking for a way to subvert the authority of the home's rules," PTC details.
Although the show features comedy legends like Vicki Lawrence from "The Carol Burnett Show," and actor David Alan Grier of "In Living Color" and "Martin" fame, PTC asserts that "The Cool Kids" provides "stale, foul-mouthed, raunchy toilet humor, frequent foul language like 'b****' and 'a**,' and loads of references to sex and drug use."
"I Feel Bad"
Premiering in September, the NBC comedy series is based on the book, I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything by Orli Auslander. PTC warns that parents should "definitely" avoid watching this show with young children when it airs on Thursday.
It focuses on a working mom who "can't manage" her children, whose husband is a "bumbling clod," and has a "fractious relationship with her parents."
At work, she is the only female employed at a video game design company. She is subjected to "jibes of her sex-crazed, socially inept millennial nerd co-workers."
"I Feel Bad reeks of Hollywood's hypocrisy," PTC Warns "Emet [the protagonist] criticizes her male co-workers for designing female characters with 'bowling ball boobs,' yet then deliberately invites them to sexually harass her by asking, 'Be honest: am I still do-able?'"
PTC argues that if such dialogue took place in real life, the employees could be fired. What's worse, PTC states, is that the first episode shows Emet's 10-year-old daughter "twerking" on a boy in her class, followed by the same boy lifting her up and "thrusting his crotch into hers."
PTC notes that the show "routinely" refers to "testicles" and "vaginas" and other inappropriate sexual behavior. One example is when Emet's husband fondles his mother-in-law's behind.
"And the show's producer vows that this is just the beginning, and that future episodes will 'explore issues never done on TV before," the PTC guide explains.