LOS ANGELES – ABC is promoting its summer Sunday gameshow lineup as "ABC's Sunday Fun and Games," but a parental media watchdog is warning that the programming content often skews away from family-friendly fare.
At first blush, the Sunday lineup sounds like it would be OK for parents and children to watch together, with Celebrity Family Feud (8 Eastern/7 Central) leading off a primetime night that also includes The $100,000 Pyramid and Match Game.
Celebrity Family Feud, hosted by Steve Harvey, is the biggest problem of the three, says a blog at the Parents Television Council.
"The most talked-about moments of this series are also the most questionable moments for potential younger viewers," the PTC's Enrique Aguilar wrote. "Each round begins with a question that has been asked in a survey to regular people prior to the show; but the categories are typically sexual in nature."
Recent questions include:
- "We asked 100 women to name something specific that only your man is allowed to do to your behind."
- "On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is sex in your life?"
"Of course," Aguilar wrote, "these questions incite awkward reactions, and can potentially reveal intimate details about the contestant's personal lives. Celebrity Family Feud is rated TV-PG, but it contains some adult themes that warrant a TV-14 rating, to better prepare viewers for the show's content."
The $100,000 Pyramid, hosted by Michael Strahan, has had fewer problems, although the first episode included a clue about Viagra.
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Match Game, hosted by actor Alec Baldwin, is more problematic than Pyramid, according to PTC.
"The game pits two contestants against one another as they are given a 'fill-in-the-blank' question and are tasked to match the answers given by a panel of celebrities," Aguilar wrote. "These questions are not inherently sexual; but given that the celebrities are attempting to be edgy, they often take the low road and make their answers more vulgar than necessary. However, the biggest offender of this show is often Alec Baldwin himself. Each commercial break is led into or finished with a sexual innuendo."
Aguilar noted that it is fun for families to "watch competitions of any kind," and "with the addition of celebrities, ABC might have begun a new renaissance for the classic television genre."
"The only caveat is that the TV-PG rating for Celebrity Family Feud is inconsistent with the rest of the night's ratings," Aguilar wrote. "Parents be warned: These shows are fun and entertaining, but they may contain content that isn't appropriate for the whole family."