Settling in on the couch together after homework, chores and dinner can be a relaxing family ritual that all your kids look forward to. You can even pop some popcorn or share a sweet treat during your favorite shows.
The problem? There are a lot of primetime favorites that aren’t okay for kids, which can make choosing a show to watch after dinner difficult. Some of this year’s top primetime TV shows aren’t family friendly, while a lot of the best kids’ shows are not entertaining for tweens, teens or parents. However, these 7 shows are favorites that the whole family will love watching together before bedtime. Appropriate network sitcoms can be especially great thanks to their 30 minute format that won’t take screen time too far. If a show is on later than your kids should be up, don’t be afraid to DVR it for the following night!
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For each show in the list, TV Parental Guideline ratings are included to help you decide if a show is right for your family.
7 Primetime TV Shows the Whole Family Can Watch
Tuesdays at 9:00 PM on ABC
Dre is the patriarch of a big, middle class family that’s comfortable with being black… ish. This show is a great mix of humor, culture, history and family that will appeal to all your kids. You may want to cover your littlest’s ears for a few lines, but the smart discussions of race in Black-ish are worth it.
2. The Flash TV-PG
Tuesday at 8 PM on The CW
If superheroes are your kids’ cup of tea, The Flash is a great TV show. There are also plenty of well-rounded characters and dynamic relationships to keep everyone happy. Keep in mind that, like many superheroes, The Flash does include some violence as he and his comrades battle throughout history.
3. The Gifted TV-PG
Monday at 9:00 PM on FOX
The X-Men characters make their way to the small screen in The Gifted. Mutants and humans struggle to coexist in this well thought out story that includes a fair amount of violence, but also touches on moral lessons like the importance of working together. While your younger kids probably haven’t seen any of the X-Men movies, this is an adaptation you can watch with them.
4. The Middle TV-PG
Tuesdays at 8:00 PM on ABC
This season will be the last, so get your fill of The Middle while you can. The Heck family is just like yours, fighting through finances, sibling rivalries and school work with lots of love and a mom who keeps it all together. Both you and your kids will get a kick out of this relatable sitcom.
5. NOVA TV-PG
Wednesday at 9 PM on PBS
If your kids love science, you should be watching NOVA. This fall, the PBS series will follow interesting topics like the manufacturing of knights’ armor, volcanoes, hurricanes and ancient floods. NOVA isn’t afraid to take on big topics and may just inspire some kitchen science experiments in the near future!
6. Speechless TV-PG
Wednesday at 8:30 PM on ABC
TV is great for exposing kids to people who are different in a safe space where it’s okay to ask questions. Speechless is a great example; the DiMeo family includes JJ, a teenager with cerebral palsy who does not communicate verbally. His independence and wit, the family’s support, and a community that doesn’t know exactly how to take this all in, are both entertaining and educational for families at home.
7. The Voice TV-PG
Monday and Tuesday at 8:00 PM on NBC
There are a ton of audition-based shows with judges and contestants that aren’t great role models for kids. The Voice is different, basing who makes it onto the show on blind auditions – eliminating first impressions and highlighting vocal talent. The judges are talented vocalists themselves, supportive of contestants and respectful to each other. Plus, there are some seriously incredible singers discovered on this show every season.