Thanks to AllyV for sending this in
Conservative group loves “Angel,” hates “Smackdown”
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The family friendly CBS hit ”Touched By an Angel”
represents the best on network TV, while UPN’s wrestling extravaganza “WWF
Smackdown!” should be turned off, a conservative media watchdog group said
“Angel” and “Smackdown” claimed the respective No. 1 spots on the fifth
annual “Top Ten Best & Worst Shows” lists issued by the Parents Television
Council (PTC), co-chaired by veteran entertainer Steve Allen.
The report ranks prime-time network shows from last season found by the
council to be the most family friendly and morally grounded and the ones it
deems “the most vulgar and violent.”
Heading the latter list was a program that has become one of the council’s
favorite targets in recent months, “WWF Smackdown!,” the highest-rated show
on the fledgling UPN network.
Noting that the two-hour “Smackdown!” airs at 8 p.m., during TV’s
traditional “family hour,” the group said the show ”exposes children to
obscene, raunchy and violent content on a weekly basis.”
UPN declined to comment on the report, but a spokesman for the World
Wrestling Federation, Jim Byrne, dismissed the criticism, saying the show’s
viewership speaks for itself.
“It’s not news, and it’s not a surprise,” he said. “It’s the view of one
man and a very small minority, versus the more than 20 million people who
watch World Wrestling Federation programming (on network and cable TV)
weekly,” he said.
Overall, the three smallest networks — UPN, Fox and the WB — accounted for
the lion’s share of TV shows the council found the most offensive. Fox and
UPN also had four of the 10 “best” shows.
Ranked Nos. 2 and 3 on the top-10 “worst” list were two Fox shows — the
racy cartoon “Family Guy,” which has yet to be picked up for another
season, and “Action,” the short-lived
Hollywood satire that gained notice for its liberal use of bleeped
Rounding out the 10 “worst” list were teen thriller ”Buffy the Vampire
Slayer” (WB), the Emmy-winning legal comedy-drama “Ally McBeal” (Fox), the
ABC comedies “Norm” and “The Drew Carey Show,” NBC sitcom “Will &
Grace” and the WB’s teen drama “Popular.” For all of these the council
generally objected to the level of sexual innuendo they contained.
At the other end of the spectrum, the council gave its biggest stamp of
approval to the moralistic CBS drama “Touched By an Angel,” about three
angels who help mortals deal with adversity.
Ranked at No. 2 was the WB’s squeaky clean family drama ”7th Heaven,”
followed at No. 3 by the ABC game show phenomenon “Who Wants to Be a
The remaining top-10 “best” shows were: “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,”
moving from ABC to WB this coming season, followed by “Early Edition”
(CBS), “Moesha” (UPN), “Boy Meets World” (canceled by ABC after seven
seasons but moving into reruns on the Disney Channel), “Safe Harbor”
(canceled by the WB after one season), “Roswell” (WB) and “Cosby” (just
canceled by CBS).