U.S. TV watchdog group scorns CSI, Housewives

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The two biggest hits on US television, CSI and Desperate Housewives, joined two Fox network cartoons on the latest list of shows scorned by a conservative watchdog group as the worst for family audiences.

Fox accounted for six of the 10 shows the Parents Television Council named Wednesday as the most offensive this season, with The War at Home, a new sitcom about a married couple raising three teenagers, topping the group's roster.

Two returning animated shows, Family Guy and American Dad, were ranked in second and third place.

The group said it based its annual rankings according to the frequency of foul language, sexual content and violence contained in shows, as well as their story lines, time slots and target audiences.

"We were alarmed to find that the three worst shows...are being marketed as family-friendly when in fact these shows are none other than wolves in sheep's clothing," Brent Bozell, head of the Virginia-based group, said in a statement.

A Fox spokesman said the network had "no comment regarding the PTC's opinions."

Three other Fox shows named on the council's "worst" list were youth-oriented drama The O.C. at number 4, period sitcom That '70s Show at number 8 and the Emmy-winning comedy Arrested Development, a favorite of TV critics, at number 9.

The two most-watched shows in prime time, CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and the darkly comic ABC soap Desperate Housewives, ranked in fifth and sixth place. Two other CBS shows, the raunchy sitcom Two and a Half Men and detective drama Cold Case, landed on the list at Numbers 7 and 10.

While Fox was the council's biggest target of criticism this year, the News Corporation-owned network also made the group's separate list of favorites with its mega-hit talent show American Idol and family sitcom The Bernie Mac Show.

Two other uplifting reality shows topped the group's roster of "best" shows--ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and NBC's Three Wishes.

Rounding out the list of PTC-endorsed shows were Ghost Whisperer on CBS, Everybody Hates Chris on UPN, Reba on the WB, Dancing with the Stars on ABC and the WB's 7th Heaven.

CBS and UPN are units of Viacom. ABC is owned by Walt Disney. NBC is part of NBC Universal, which is controlled by General Electric. The WB belongs to Time Warner.

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