What Do You Mean Its Not For Kids / Live-Action TV

Star Trek has its own page.
  • Wonder Showzen. It was originally to be titled Kids' Show, but they were forced to change it because the network feared people would take it literally. The theme song starts:
    "Kids' show, kids' show/ oh good lord it's a kids' show"
  • According to Lisa Kudrow, she has met kids claiming that their parents let them watch Friends. While Friends is not particularly vulgar by modern standards, there are still way too many storylines revolving around sex to consider it appropriate for younger viewers.
    • The same probably applies to most prime time sitcoms.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs, it's bound to be for kids! But it, and Walking with Beasts and Walking with Monsters, contain:
  • Jurassic Fight Club is a Walking with Dinosaurs wanna-be, and seeing the main point is prehistoric battles, it isn't surprising why it's on here
  • Dinosaur Planet is a nice little show about dinosaurs, right? Nice, if you mean being buried alive by a sandstorm, brutal Protoceratops murdering, plenty of gorn, a megatsunami that kills everyone in the area but one, a Maiasaura with an injured leg slowly dying of his wounds, everyone in that episode dying of a horrific volcanic explosion, a Saltasaurus nesting site being drowned, and an Aucasaurus crushed to death.
  • Nature documentaries in general might be classed as this. In the UK, at least, they're exempt from classification due to their educational nature when released as video recordings, so kids can theoretically buy them and watch them without question- even if they do contain animals fighting, killing and eating other animals and copulating. There may of course be some measure of What Measure Is a Non-Human? about this too- it's just what animals do naturally in the wild, so who cares?
  • ABC Family. Either ABC/Disney or Fox before them wanted to change it, but didn't. It was rumored that their contract with Pat Robertson required them to keep "Family" in the channel name (their contract does require them to run The 700 Club before midnight... maybe they could give it a Laugh Track?). The rumor was debunked when ABC Family announced that they were changing their name to Freeform, which took effect January 12, 2016.
    • ABC Family also aired reruns of That '70s Show which has many references to sex and implies marijuana usage with the kids in the circle. Granted, it has both written and spoken warnings along the lines of "The following material may be inappropriate for younger viewers" before each episode.
  • Canadian networks such as YTV and Teletoon also seem to carry the same misconceptions as suggestive cartoons, a couple of violent anime, and shows targeted for older teens often run rampant or get scattered into the mix of stuff that's supposed to be for kids.
    • YTV did this with Farscape of all shows. They announced that they would be the first Canadian channel to carry the show... and put up a Farscape page in their website which looked like something from Nickelodeon. Apparently, they were misled by the fact that the show was made by The Jim Henson Company. They ended up only airing the first season (and censoring the crap out of it).
    • YTV also was the first to air Red Dwarf and ended up banning one episode entirely because there was too much to cut. However, YTV eventually got the hint and began airing more adult fare like Ĉon Flux and The Young Ones in late-night time slots.
    • Although it wasn't live action, YTV also gave this treatement to Stressed Eric, placing it in a timeslot right after Sailor Moon. Surprisingly, nobody complained about this.
  • Tsuburaya Productions shows:
    • Fireman was rather kid-unfriendly, especially with the Downer Ending.
    • Ultraman Leo was not your usual Ultra Series show. The show begins with Ultra Seven having his leg brutally broken and being confined to human form and it gets worse from there, going into Kill 'em All territory by the end.
    • Ultraman Ace features plenty of kid-unfriendly kaiju violence. Take for example, Barabas in Episode 14, who was stabbed in the torso with its own sword, punched in the back so hard that its eyes dislodged from its skull, had its left hand torn off, and finally decapitated! What about Muruchi, who was dismembered on-screen by a very angry Doragory in Episode 8 for accidentally bumping into him!.
    • Ultraman Nexus was given a Saturday morning time slot despite happily wallowing in depressing things and then killing off Ultraman's human host midway through the series.
    • Tsuburaya created a horror series in 1968 called Operation: Mystery. In Germany in 1971, some network decided it would be a good idea to dub it and broadcast it as a children's series. It's from the creators of Ultraman, after all... it must be for kids!
  • In the early 1970s Gerry and Sylvia Anderson decided to go into more serious, live-action drama with the series UFO, though it still used plenty of their famous model work. Unfortunately the networks didn't know what to do with a show about faceless aliens coming to Earth to steal people's organs, which included one episode about drugged out hippies and another which focuses on the lead character having an extramarital affair. After all, it was made by the creators of Thunderbirds so it must be for kids, right?
  • In one of the stupidest examples imaginable, numerous parents apparently assumed that Game of Thrones had to be family-friendly because it was fantasy. It didn't help that a number of articles written about the show hyped the fantasy aspects, such as mentions of dragons and direwolves, or focusing entirely on the latter part of series co-creator David Benioff's admittedly crappy tagline "The Sopranos" in Middle-earth", apparently hearing "Middle-earth" and assuming we'd see elves, wizards and hobbits. Never mind that it airs on HBO, which is known for series with copious amounts of nudity, violence and profanity, and never mind that right before the series a giant "Not suitable for children" warning is displayed. There were angry emails to HBO and news outlets from outraged parents at a show "for children" containing beheadings, profanity, incest, nudity and rape.
  • Glee, largely thanks to the popularity of a movie with a very similar premise that actually was for kids. Except Glee has: jokes about oral sex; dancing which borders on dry humping; sex between teenagers and older, married adults; the president of the celibacy club getting pregnant; boys complaining about "erupting early" and an adult former student corrupting kids by giving them pornography, alcohol and lessons in stealing. And that's all within the first 5 episodes.
    • The media appearances of certain Glee actors have been criticized by some "concerned parents" groups for being too sexy for young children watching the show.
    • Glee in its early days got this in droves. Many people thought it was High School Musical: The Series, without realizing that characters freely swear and the show tackles several heavy issues like drug use, infidelity, teen pregnancy, losing one's virginity, homophobia, etc. It doesn't help that Glee covers are often played on Radio Disney, or that much of its marketing is made to appeal to the tween crowd.
  • The 2015 series The Muppets is TV-PG and it shows. There are a lot of adult jokes showing off that just because it's a Muppet series doesn't mean it's for kids.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer doesn't shy away from showing vampires and demons being stabbed or decapitated, human victims lying gruesomely dead, and has a significant amount of sexual content. Nevertheless, there are 7-year-olds whose parents have allowed them to watch it. Not helped in the UK where the BBC aired a censored version at six PM with sexual and violent content cut but aired the full version at eleven the same day. All neck snappings were cut, for example, leading to strange fights with demons who suddenly just decided to give up and lie still for no reason.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Children are especially attracted to the funny puppets, and the host segments have a wild, kids show-esque atmosphere and fairly family-friendly sense of humor. The actual films featured, though, are often not kid stuff, often dealing with mature themes. As vintage Doctor Who has shown, obviously fake monsters to an adult are not so obviously fake to small children — no matter how much the 'bots may be laughing at them. And most children simply do not have enough cultural experience to understand when a movie is "bad", meaning that much of the riffing is lost on them anyway. Still, the Best Brains gang got several letters from kids and families (paticularly during the Joel years) talking about how much they loved the show. These letters were often read on the air, showing that they embraced younger audiences watching.
  • The Goodies, being essentially a live action version of a Looney Tunes cartoon, was broadcast in a children's timeslot by the Australian Broadcasting Company ... who had to edit the hell out of it.
  • The makers of Torchwood must have thought that by Series 4 there was no longer any need to keep saying "Yes, we know this is a Doctor Who spinoff, but it's broadcast at 9pm for a reason", so they didn't. Cue outrage at the first gay sex scene, with more than one person tweeting to the effect of "That's not right, it's a kids' show". Clearly the post-watershed swearing and gore and a paedophile as a major character didn't clue them in enough. (Doctor Who, of course, is one of the more famous examples of the opposite of this trope, with the original run aimed at kids and the revival aimed at families.)
  • Crank Yankers has some well-known comedians make prank calls to various businesses, and reenacting the call on camera using Muppet style puppets. One call had a woman prank a hardware store with an extended conversation about the "big tubes of caulk." Very much not for children.
    • Not to mention the openings of the skits. One has a man carrying his large testes in a wheel barrel and another has a woman puppet's clothes being ripped off in the wind and exposing her breasts and nipples, fully.
  • Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger is so rife with this (for further proof, look at the 3rd episode of the show), as the show is aired in the Otaku O'Clock timeslot. even the tagline says it:
    "Good kids, stay away from this show. Got it?"
    • Violence-wise it's pretty much the same as regular Sentai, but things which wouldn't be kid-friendly include: The team getting drunk to power up, Red openly admitting to having a robot fetish, a monster which strips perverts naked, and the main villain of Season 2 suddenly crying out in orgasm from the sex he's having in the Delusion World.
  • Degrassi gets this too, despite the fact that it's usually rated TV-14 and has characters dealing with a plethora of (mostly non child-friendly) challenges, such as eating disorders, peer pressure, sexual identity, gang violence, self-injury, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, school shootings, rape, etc. The fact that it airs in the U.S. on TeenNick might have a part in this.
  • Miniseries/film Fractured Fairy Tale The 10th Kingdom. It's fine for older kids, mostly thanks to Parental Bonus, but many a parent decided, like all Fairy Tales, it was intended for kids. There are references to aforementioned glowing hot slippers, onscreen deaths and a main character standing trial for eating a girl, who was actually killed by her uncle. Also, Rutger Hauer with a crossbow.
    • Let us not forget how the opening of the first episode showed us a shot of the Snow White Memorial Prison, with a bunch of buzzards eating the remains of prisoners in old hanging cages... yes, very family friendly fairy-tale indeed...
  • Blue Bloods used this trope In-Universe at one point. Henry and Frank were going to take Danny's kids (roughly eight years old) to a Broadway musical, but Henry misplaced the tickets. When they found them, Erin noted they'd "dodged a bullet" as she put it: the musical was The Book of Mormon.
  • Strange enough reality TV shows are seldom seen as harmful for children. Despite the fact that many of them feature a bunch of people stuck together in one place while the TV makers make sure the tensions between them rise. The result is often a showcase of verbal and/or physical fights, swearing and people trying to get revenge on each other. Now, isn't that a great example for your kids growing up?
    • Related to this is the fact that certain female socialites and/or reality stars who get their fame from these reality shows (i.e. Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, the Kardashians...) are frequently criticized by other media for being "bad role models" for girls. Never mind that the shows they've appeared on were never aimed at children young enough to be harmfully influenced by their antics, and it's not like these celebrities try to pass themselves off as role models anyway.
  • Once Upon a Time is not that extreme of an example, but just because it's about fairy tales and has many characters that were in Disney movies does not mean that it's for the same age group (besides, the fairy tales and its characters didn't become all cutesy and G-rated until Disney adapted them). The series contains things like violence, bloodshed (though often not as much as would be expected), a character who is unknowingly a werewolf turning into a wolf and eating the man she's in love with, implied rape as well as a definite (though never exactly stated) example of a Sex Slave, and mild language. The inclusion of Frozen characters in particular appearing was marketed quite a bit however the series isn't as G as the film itself (which has a PG rating however is very tame and popular with little kids).
    • The fact that the series often uses Disney's adaptations of fairy tales as a base (Gaston's not even in the original Beauty and the Beast, he was created by French director Jean Cocteau) really does not help. That and the fact the series uses fairy tales currently untouched by Disney (Hansel and Gretel) and some books that aren't considered fairy tales at all (Frankenstein) is a bit of a Mind Screw.
  • This led to the sad story of Angel's botched terrestrial broadcast in the UK. Channel 4 bought Angel and decided to broadcast the first season at six in the evening, because, you know, anything with magic in it is obviously teatime fare for kids. Despite extremely heavy censorship cuts, this still led to a formal reprimand from the Broadcasting Standards Council. The last few episodes of the first season, and the whole second season, were consequently shown after midnight with little or no publicity. The third season was bought instead by Channel Five, who treated it equally badly. (The other two seasons have never aired on any UK terrestrial channel.)
  • Dinosaurs is made by Jim Henson, aired on the Disney-owned ABC and features adorable dino puppets, so it's for kids, right? Technically not. The show has some mild profanity and has some sex jokes, and the last episode was one big letdown (not because it sucked, but because it was depressing).
  • There's Project Runway merchandise aimed at preteen girls. The show isn't for them, due to swearing (most of it censored), adult themes like drinking, and references to things kids wouldn't know about such as A Chorus Line. It doesn't help that Tim Gunn would later voice Baileywick in an actual show aimed at girls, Sofia the First.
  • Modern Family has a lot of fans who are younger children, when it's not actually for them. It doesn't help that a few of the actors would later have roles on the aforementioned Sofia The First.
  • Another ABC show, The Goldbergs, was advertised in cinemas before family-friendly movies such as Planes and Turbo, and was also advertised in banner ads on The Hub's (now Discovery Family) website. From the preview, it looks like a fun sitcom about a boy having crazy adventures in The '80s with his family, and he likes a few things from that era kids still like today like Star Wars. Except that there's adult themes in the show and uncensored and censored swearing, mostly from the father on the show, and sometimes even Adam swears! note , and episodes about about Barry being taught about sex and the kids finding a scrambled porn channel (that we don't get to see, of course) when they are trying to watch General Hospital.
  • Instant Mom is a sitcom that airs on Nickelodeon's adult block Nick At Nite and on Nick Jr's adult block NickMom, but on Hulu, it was placed in the children's section in between Magic Adventures of Mumfie and the Animated Adaptation of Fraggle Rock. This is possibly because it looked like a kid-friendly sitcom about a mom and her adopted children. It's basically just like any other sitcom involving kids, with dirty things kids shouldn't hear and other adult themes. Due to Hulu's mistake, other websites like Toon Zone and the Canadian cable service Bell TV classify Instant Mom as a children's show!
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., despite being in the same continuity the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which despite having some more adult moments, is generally family-friendly), has a much different tone. Murder, sex, Government corruption, and lots of Nightmare Fuel is a regular part of the show. Despite this, Agent Coulson, Fitz and Simmons have all appeared in the Ultimate Spider-Man TV show, which is aimed at kids, while an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. DLC pack featuring the cast of the show was released for Lego Avengers.
  • This is one of the major reasons why Jessica Jones was in Development Hell for so long. Melissa Rosenberg wanted the series to be appropriately Darker and Edgier to reflect its source material, but none of the networks were interested in a superhero show that dealt with the gritty subject matter she was pitching. It eventually got picked up by Netflix, which is known for its more mature content. It's primary themes include such cheery subjects as alcoholism, PTSD and rape, each of which are thoroughly explored and discussed to a disturbing degree. Like Daredevil, it earned a TV-MA rating.
  • Speaking of Daredevil, to say that it earned its TV-MA rating would be a massive understatement. The level of violence in the series can be absolutely shocking at times, whether it be hearing a guy offscreen getting his skull smashed in with a bowling ball, or seeing a brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that ends with an Off with His Head!.
    • While on the topic, the Lego Avengers game is based on the MCU and has levels based on the various movies and TV shows. Despite this, the Daredevil and Jessica Jones series were not included, as Marvel felt they were inappropriate for children.
  • Galavant is a parody of Fairy Tales, has a lighthearted, colourful tone, and has its soundtrack done by the guy who did the music for Aladdin and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, so it must be for kids, right? Well, half the opening number was devoted to all the sex Galavant and Madalena were having during their relationship, and the series only gets raunchier from there.
  • Back when it was popular, 13% of Rescue 911 viewers consisted of children, most of them younger than six, and the show got higher ratings than Garfield and Friends. This caused an uproar with parents and child psychologists on whether the show was educational or too scary for children.
  • If you are looking through the TV guides for family entertainment and see a program titled Zoo, don't be fooled into thinking that it is a family show about the lives of animals. It's actually about a man who solves violent mysteries involving animals. Not helping matters is that James Patterson, who wrote funny books for kids about life in middle school, was behind the show.
  • 24 suffers the same "detectives and spies are okay for kids" stigma that series like James Bond and Austin Powers commonly get treated with (see this page for more on that) Its popularity with kids was made famous upon the publication of a study showing that British school children knew more about pop culture than events in history.
  • Don't let the fact that Pets involves cute animal puppets fool you. The show has animals who engage in activities such as looking at pornography, masturbating, getting addicted to medications, collecting bloodstained bags, and drinking urine.
  • Gotham was inexplicably nominated for a Kids Choice Awards despite being a TV-14 series full of violence, sex, and Nightmare Fuel. It probably was nominated due to the popularity of Batman.
  • Knight Rider is often stereotyped as a kids' show because it has one hero and his super cool super car, but the first season itself is loaded with episodes about politics, corrupt police, framed murder charges, a lover implicated in soliciting crime and the murder of a sleaze magazine owner- plenty of murders in the first season. The pilot is surely not for kids. Plenty of gunshots fired in the show actually hit — and a few kill. Contrast that with The A-Team which has only two casualties in the whole run and almost none of the shots hit.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids/LiveActionTV