• Dysfunctional Families Dominate TV – UP to the Rescue!

    by  • March 9, 2017 • Family Friendly • 1 Comment


    Few networks deliver “family” programming families actually want…but one does.

    Every summer, family-friendly movies far outperform more graphic ones at the box office. On TV, shows like American Idol and The Voice are ratings hits. It is clear that viewers are overwhelmingly in favor of entertainment that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

    Yet somehow, those in the entertainment industry don’t seem to get the message. Even when television promises a spate of new “family” comedies, all too often the families are far from positive.  CBS’ Mom features three generations of single mothers – all of them promiscuous, alcoholic drug addicts – sharing the same house. ABC’s American Housewife features a  mean-spirited, weight-obsessed mother who is nasty to her own children. Fox’s upcoming The Mick features a drunken shrew who manipulates her way into running a household of scheming brats.

    “Families are rough and raw and obnoxious and dysfunctional,” Herdman said. “Viewers are looking for that edge,” says Lisa Herdman, Senior Vice-President of National Broadcast at the advertising agency Rubin Postaer and Associates. Herdman claims that that today’s family comedies need to be “diverse, topical and contemporary” [and, apparently, mean-spirited and cynical] to survive.

    Fortunately, there’s one network with a more positive take on families. UP, one of America’s favorite family cable networks, is promoting its new initiative, titled “We Get Family.”  Planned to focus on that stage in life where people are getting married, having children and raising kids, UP plans to celebrate the most genuine and relatable moments and stories about family.

    “We Get Family” is the theme of UP’s more than 440 hours of original series, specials, movies and network acquisitions bowing in 2016. Targeted to adult women, UP programming includes: Growing Up McGhee; Small Town, Big Mayor; Jo Frost: Nanny on Tour; and  Bringing Up Bates, and reruns of favorites like Parenthood, Gilmore Girls and America’s Funniest Home Videos, UP is poised to bring families the programming they’ve been looking for.

    UP is available on DISH Network channel 188, DirecTV channel 338, and most cable and internet systems. To find UP on your television, click here.



    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    One Response to Dysfunctional Families Dominate TV – UP to the Rescue!

    1. Jonathan
      March 10, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      A family movie beats a graphic adult movie at the box office doesn’t prove anything. Obviously a PG or G rated movie is going to make more money, it has a lower rating thefore more people can see it which means more money. That doesn’t count for quality of the movie. I’ll take a movie like John Wick 2 any day of the week over Lego Batman. Why? Because Batman isn’t supposed to be campy or funny. He’s called the Dark Knight for a reason. Same with Logan.

      There are plenty of family shows on TV just because they don’t meet your criteria for a family show doesn’t mean that it isn’t. My family and I watch The Goldbergs every week. Obviously you won’t approve since people say “naughty” words in it. It IS however a family show, even if you don’t think it is.

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