If you are a Netflix subscriber than you know that they offer a large number of movies and TV shows. If you have been scrolling through the TV series available on Netflix, then you may have noticed that a vast majority of the popular shows are rated TV-MA.

What exactly does this mean and what age group are these shows made for? Keep reading to understand the answer to these questions and the meaning of other ratings that Netflix uses for its TV shows.

TV Ratings History

In 1968 the rating system for movies was made. The rating system for TV shows, however, was not made until 1996 when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed. MPAA, NCTA, and NAB were industry leaders that led the movement to apply the new system to cable and broadcast TV programming except for sports, news, and commercials.

It wasn’t until December of 1996 that the TV Parental Guidelines (TVPG) were actually announced and then the system actually launched on the first day of the new year in 1997. A new version of the system was then launched in August of 1997 that had six categories and a set of five content descriptors. It was then decided that there would be an icon to appear at the beginning of each program for 15 seconds and the new system was then put in place in March of 1998 by the FCC.

TV-MA Rating on Netflix

The rating of TV-MA that appears on Netflix TV shows means that the show you are looking at is meant for mature audiences only. The rating given to the shows can be given by Netflix or by the TVPG.

So, what makes a show worthy of this rating? The TV-MA rating given to shows is given because of graphic violence, adult language, graphic sex scenes, or a mixture of these. It is a very close rating to NC-17 or R ratings for movies given by the Ratings Administration.

A few examples of shows that have this rating are High Seas, Bad Blood, and Dark. Most of the Marvel shows that Netflix has made also have the rating of TV-MA also. Daredevil, the Punisher, and Jessica Jones are some examples of marvel shows for you. A lot of Netflix original comedies also share this rating like OITNB and Easy. Netflix also has shows that are not originally made by Netflix like Outlander and Breaking Bad that were made by other companies but still carry the TV-MA rating.

The biggest thing about shows on Netflix with the rating TV-MA is that they are the most popular and seem to have the biggest fan base of any ratings on Netflix. That means that these shows get bigger budgets and are constantly being made by Netflix because of this.

Descriptors For the Rating TV-MA on Netflix

A descriptor is a letter that stands for different reasons for the rating. There are L, S, V, FV, and D. each one of these stand for a different reason for the rating.

1. The L designation is there for coarse language. It shows up mostly on the TV-14 level, but some TV-MA shows display it too if adult language is used to a certain exstint.

2. TV shows with the S descriptor have sexual content.

3. D is for suggestive dialogue. Many TV-14 programs have this descriptor displayed next to their rating. Suggestive dialogue might include sexual innuendo and themes otherwise inappropriate for younger audiences.

4. The V descriptor stands for violence. Shows marked with V feature frequent and graphic scenes of violence. Alcohol and drug abuse fall under this descriptor as well.

5. VF stands for fantasy violence. Shows that feature giant robots and fantasy creatures often have the VF descriptor.