JMS: B5 rated TV-G??

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Fri May 23 06:26:50 EDT 1997

From: Stina Bridgeman <ssb at>
Date: 20 May 1997 20:34:04 -0400
Lines: 40

"Elisabeth" == Elisabeth Anne Riba <lis at> writes:

> TV shows in America are now rated like movies, in anticipation of
> V-Chip technology that will allow to block their children from
> watching certain shows.

> Most evening television shows are rated TV-PG, suggesting parental
> guidance.  Some more "mature" shows are rated TV-14 to caution
> parents that material may not be suitable for kids under 14.

> The last several episodes of Babylon 5 have ben rated TV-G,
> signifying they're suitable for all audiences.  Frankly, I'm shocked
> by this rating, and think that B5's content is sometimes strong
> enough for a TV-14 for some of the darker themes.

> I was wondering who decided that B5 is PG-13 -- JMS, PTEN or the
> local station?  And, if you're reading this, JMS, what rating do you
> think B5 should have?

I think a lot of it has to do with the local station - two stations in
my area show B5, and one (WNAC, Providence RI) has given every season
four episode so far a TV-14 rating (well, every one that they have
rated; they failed to rate several episodes recently) while another
(WSBK, Boston MA) gives the same episodes TV-G.  TV Guide usually
lists the episodes as TV-PG, though I don't know what they listed for
the beginning of season four.  With all these variations one wonders
if the rating system is really performing any useful service...

Anyway, I don't know if local stations decided the ratings entirely on
their own, or if there is some recommendation provided by
networks/something else and the stations just have the final say (if
networks provide ratings, B5 might slip through the cracks being a
syndicated show), but they do seem to have at least some control.

(And personally I think most episodes of B5 should get TV-PG with some
of the nastier ones getting TV-14.)

From: George Johnsen <ndeiprod at>
Date: 21 May 1997 22:29:31 -0400
Lines: 11

Since the ratings system is still a voluntary compliance system, there
is no ratings board like in film.  Warner Brothers asks us for a
suggested rating on each and every episode, and by and large we give it
a rating of TV-PG.  Each station has the right to re-rate the shows
based on their own community standards.

George Johnsen
CoProducer, B5

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