Do you pay attention to the ratings posted for TV shows? The Walking Dead was given the rating TV-14, which is like PG-13 but for 14-year-olds. On the other hand, a show like American Horror Story is TV-MA, which is more like an R rating.
Obviously The Walking Dead is very violent — there's a hint right in the title! — and the Parents Television Council has decided it's too violent for its rating.
PTC president Tim Winter said in a statement (via Entertainment Weekly), “Throughout its run, the AMC program The Walking Dead has featured some of the most graphic and brutally intense violence and gore imaginable. [...] The intensely violent content has included depictions of the cleaving of human skulls with a machete, extreme gun violence including graphic depictions of blood and brains splattering after gunshot wounds, and the use of a sharpened human bone as a weapon to stab another character. Clearly, this is content appropriate to an adult-only audience, but AMC has rated every single episode of The Walking Dead as suitable for a 14 year old child.”
What do you think about this? At home, unlike in a movie theater, there's no one in the box office to give you the hairy eyeball if you look 14 but ask to buy a ticket to an R-rated movie. It's up to parents and other guardians to keep "inappropriate" content away from young eyes by doing their own homework about it — although, sadly, many 14-year-olds are probably desensitized to violence thanks to everything from TV news to video games. TV-MA probaby would be best for The Walking Dead, and wouldn't affect its high ratings at all, so maybe they should just go ahead and do it. But if a parent doesn't want a kid to watch a show, all they have to do is be the parent and not let them watch it.
Do you think a different rating would make a difference? Is it the principle of the thing? If you're going to do ratings at all, you might as well have them be fair, or should they just stop even trying to make TV show ratings matter?