L.A. Times Angers Parents Television Council By Calling "Glee," Cougar Town" Family Friendly
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L.A. Times Angers Parents Television Council By Calling "Glee," Cougar Town" Family Friendly

April 8, 2010 05:23 pm CDT 

In a new article, the Los Angeles Times name-checked "Two and a Half Men" and "Cougar Town" as some of the shows at the forefront of family-friendly programming. Now, the Parents Television Council is up in arms over the definition of family-friendly programming, saying those shows aren't appropriate for younger audiences.

According to Fox News, the Parents Television Council also names "Glee" as one of the worst offenders, calling it full of graphic sexual themes and featuring teens who "lie and manipulate." "Glee" has been a target of the Parents Television Council since its debut, calling it the "Worst TV Show of the Week" and telling parents not to be fooled: this is not "High School Musical."

"There seems to be a big difference in what Hollywood will put out there as family friendly entertainment, or tell us is family friendly entertainment, and how it is actually perceived by the rest of the country," said Melissa Henson, the PTC's Director of Communications and Public Education. "Very few of our members would feel comfortable allowing their children to watch most of the programs that were cited in that article as being evidence that the networks are turning back the clocks and introducing more family friendly programs."

The L.A. Times might not have meant Disney family-friendly, although "Cougar Town" does air on the Disney-owned ABC network. But the PTC might not be too far off. "Cougar Town" is based on a premise of Courtney Cox bagging younger guys and "Two and a Half Men" is basically a vehicle for Charlie Sheen to end up in bed with different women.

But many are arguing the expanding concept of "family-friendly." Also at the center of the controversy is ABC Family, whose network has "Family" in the title but regularly airs R-rated movies (albeit in edited form) like "Cruel Intentions" and includes hits like "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," which is based entirely on teen sex themes.

But the idea of family friendly programming could need updating for 2010, with some applauding the fact that shows like "Glee" and "The Secret Life of an American Teenager" are opening up dialogue between parents and their kids about usually taboo topics like sex, sexual orientation, and tolerance.

TV Guide Executive Editor-in-Chief Craig Tomashoff agrees with the idea of shows like "Glee," Cougar Town," and "Two and a Half Men" being deemed as family friendly. "There are a lot of family-related issues raised," he told Fox News. " 'Glee,' to me, completely fits into the category, it is about teens and the things they go through.

"But it all depends how you define family, and each family can define that on their own. Family television has changed, just as the notion of 'the family' has changed."

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