What Does TV-MA Stand For?

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What Does TV-MA Stand For?

When you choose a show from a streaming provider like Netflix, you will see its rating before you play it. Some of the programming accessible on these platforms are appropriate for all ages, but the majority are not.

What Does TV-MA Mean?

This article will explain what qualifies a show as TV-MA and what other ratings you may come across when exploring your watchlist.

What are Parental Guidelines?

The television content rating system went into force in 1997. The television business, the US Congress, and the Federal Communications Commission all recommended it (FCC). This grading system is known as TV Parental Guidelines, and it defines which age group a show is appropriate for.

parental advisory

What Makes a Program TV-MA?

Age ratings fluctuate from one nation to the next. In the United States, TV-MA denotes that a program is appropriate for adults. The abbreviation ‘MA’ refers for’mature audiences.’ These programs should not be seen by children under the age of 17.

There are many reasons why television programs may be appropriate exclusively for adult audiences. Ratings are based on content descriptors that are precisely specified. In the United States, content descriptors include:

  1. D – Suggestive dialogue: This indicates that the text contains innuendo or implication. Suggestive conversation alone seldom raises a program’s classification over TV-MA, although it is common in PG-13 shows.
  2. Curse words, cursing, vulgar language, and other unpleasant, socially unacceptable language are examples of coarse language.
  3. S – Sexual content: Sexual content may be any sexual activity or emotion. It may vary from sexual words and nudity displays to the complete sexual act.
  4. V – Violence: Displays of violence are another important factor in deciding the content grade. Because drug usage is not classified separately, it is frequently included in this description.

TV-MA does not apply to all types of violence. The rating system permits younger people to witness various sorts of violence depending on the degree. For example, if a cartoon involves humorous violence, as is typical of Looney Tunes, it will be rated TV-Y7. This implies that youngsters may watch it as soon as they are old enough to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

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It will be PG13 if there is a show of violence with fights, firearms, and injuries but no significant blood or gore. This classification is assigned to the majority of adolescent action series, superhero shows, and combat shows.

However, if a show involves graphic acts of violence, it will be classified as TV-MA. Rick and Morty and South Park are two animated sitcoms that combine humorous violence with horrific brutality. These are intended for adult audiences and have been rated appropriately.

tv ma south park

Other TV Parental Guidelines

Aside from TV-MA, there are five types of parental restrictions. They are as follows:

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TV-Y is suitable for all ages of children. The majority of these programmes are designed exclusively for children. The concepts and tales are straightforward, and the presentations are often instructional.


When youngsters reach the age of seven, they can distinguish between fantasy and reality. Following that, the stuff they consume may include some fantasy or comic violence.



TV-G is a broad show that is appropriate for all viewers. It is suitable for all ages since it has no violence or sexual content. This classification is distinct from TV-Y in that it sometimes applies to documentaries and TV series that children will not find appealing.


This material may be inappropriate for younger children. Parents or guardians should investigate the program before making a choice. It may include provocative or improper language, mild violence, and perhaps a small amount of sexual material.

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A TV-14 show is intended for youngsters above the age of 14. It is typically not suggested that youngsters watch the show without adult supervision, or without first having them vetting it. It may feature crass humor, the usage of hazardous drugs, harsh language, violence, and themes that are complicated or unpleasant.

Can I Prevent Children From Watching TV-MA Content?

You may put parental restrictions on your device depending on your streaming service or cable provider. This implies that before watching a TV-MA show, viewers must enter a PIN number. This is one method for preventing your children from seeing adult stuff on television.

Unfortunately, children using smartphones or other devices may still obtain unsuitable information for their age online. Make sure that parental controls are enabled on any devices that your children may use.

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