The best family TV show picks by network

Mar 25, 2010 at 6:02 p.m. ET

Some days, it's terrifying to turn on the television. You never know what you'll see, or if you'll want your kids to see it. So we've looked at the current lineups for the major networks to come up with a list of the family-friendly TV picks you can safely turn on anytime.


America's Funniest Home Videos (AFV) has been a fan favorite for many years -- and there's a reason. It's funny, it's appropriate for families, and it's a lot of fun to watch. Catch it Sundays at 7.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is another mega-hit. The show is a great way to start conversations with your kids about helping others, giving back, and different family situations. Sundays at 8.


The Biggest Loser is a winner for many families. It chronicles weight loss in the lives of real people and can be downright inspiring at times. A fun choice for a lot of families. Tuesdays at 8.


American Idol is still at the top of the lists. The drama, the talent, the interaction, the voting -- it's all good. Just hit mute when Simon starts getting nasty -- or use it as a way to talk to your kids about how bullies behave. Watch Tuesday and Wednesday at 8, and visit SheKnows American Idol for recaps and photos.

Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? This is a game show families can really get into. It's fun for kids to pit their knowledge against adults in the house and on TV. Fridays at 8.


You were hoping for some sitcoms you could watch with your kids? Not on the big networks, not these days. But cable has you covered. On Nickelodeon, check out Drake and Josh, The George Lopez Show, and Home Improvement. It's not quite The Cosby Show, but these sitcoms won't embarrass you or your kids, and you might even laugh.


Over on Disney Channel, try That's So Raven, Sonny With a Chance, and Wizards of Waverly Place. Wizards is the best of the bunch, and you may find yourself enjoying it every bit as much as your kids. Also on Disney Channel is a surprisingly clever cartoon, Phineas and Ferb. Watch an episode or two out of the corner of your eye when your kids have it on, and you may find yourself reprogramming the DVR to catch it again and again.

Family friendly television does exist, even if you have to work to find it. Let the networks know how you feel about your favorite shows. And consider ordering the true classics of family TV on DVD.


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