The best and worst new TV shows for family viewing

Leslie Penkunas//September 27, 2019

The best and worst new TV shows for family viewing

Leslie Penkunas//September 27, 2019

The Parents Television Council has chosen the Best and Worst New TV Shows, an annual list of new fall broadcast TV shows that are safe, or not, for children and families.

The PTC states that ABC’s Mixed-ish is the best new TV show for families, followed by two CBS programs, Bob Abishola  and All Rise in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. Fox has two of the three worst new TV shows for family viewing, according to the non-partisan education organization: Prodigal Son and Bless the Harts. The CW’s Nancy Drew comes in as the 2nd worst new program for families.

“We applaud ABC and CBS for its new shows on our Best List that look promising for families,” said Melissa Henson, PTC program director, adding, “We wish The CW had stayed true to the original Nancy Drew stories in its new series, but the gratuitous sex among teens has taken the series in a decidedly more adult direction and is a show families should avoid.”

PTC annually reviews and evaluates new TV shows presented at the Fall TV Previews at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles in order to create this list. Because the Best and Worst List is based on a review of the first episode, families are encouraged to look at the PTC’s Family Guide for complete reviews later in the season.

PTC’s Best New Shows on TV, Fall 2019

Mixed-ish is a spin-off prequel to ABC’s popular series Black-ish that focuses on the unusual childhood of medical doctor/wife/mom Rainbow Johnson. Set in the 1980s, the program opens with 12-year-old Rainbow living in a commune with her parents. When the commune is raided by police, the family moves in with Bow’s grandfather. The stage is set for fish-out-of-water comedy, as Rainbow and her siblings must navigate being bi-racial and non-material with their new life in suburbia, complete with indoor plumbing, television, shopping malls, and fitting in at public school. According to PTC, the pilot episode of Mixed-ish was devoid of any offensive words, depictions, or descriptions. It advises that like its predecessor Black-ish, parents can expect this show to have some episodes that focus on controversial topics that some parents may or may not find appropriate. Mixed-ish airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC 27 locally.

Bob Abishola follows the story of a businessman — Bob — who suffers a near-fatal heart attack and begins to court his Nigerian immigrant nurse, much to the surprise of his own family, and the amazement and distrust of Abishola’s. PTC declares the program “delightful” and applauds its positive focus on middle-aged people with significantly different backgrounds finding love later in life. Bob Abishola airs Mondays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS 21.

All Rise is about Lola Carmichael, formerly a star prosecutor for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, and now LA’s newest judge, and the challenges accompanying her new role. PTC says that, “in addition to an impressive roster of actors (including CSI’s Marg Helgenberger) and an unusual premise, and with little explicit content (violent, sexual, or otherwise), All Rise had little content to concern parents – and promises some compelling storytelling.” All Rise airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBS 21.

PTC’s Worst New Shows on TV, Fall 2019

Prodigal Son follows Malcolm Whitly, a Harvard-trained psychologist who also happens to be the son of a sadistic serial killer. The series explores the tightrope between his work with the police and the dark world of his father. PTO states that the show seeks to “entertain” viewers with sick, psychopathic sadism; in the first episode alone, viewers see dozens of severed heads pickled in glass jars by a killer; several people bloodily shot to death; a slow-motion re-enactment of a murder by lethal injection; and multiple references to BDSM, “doms and subs,” and torture. PTO warns parents that the “dark, bloody and deeply disturbing content” is not appropriate for children or teens. The program airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Fox 43.

Nancy Drew is about the 18-year-old titular character who has turned away from solving mysteries and become despondent after the recent death of her mother. Eschewing college, she works as a waitress at a diner in her hometown but returns to the world of sleuthing—and the supernatural—after a wealthy heiress is murdered. PTC blasts the series for its extensive, gratuitous teenage sex as well as its exploration of the occult, with séances and actual ghosts being a prominent part of the new program. Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the CW.

Bless The Harts follows the exploits of Jenny Hart, a single mother supporting her family working as a waitress, her lottery scratcher-obsessed mother Betty, her anime-obsessed daughter Violet, and Jenny’s hanger-on boyfriend Wayne. Together, they form a Southern family that is always broke and forever struggling to make ends meet. PTO states that the program is riddled with profanity, is not funny, and wastes the talents of Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph who voice two of the characters. Bless the Harts airs Sundays at 9:30 p.m. on Fox 43.

The Parents Television Council is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995.


Latest Mommy Blogs