Guide to television's morality -- The family-friendliness of shows such as ''The Simpsons,'' ''Friends,'' and ''The Nanny''

According to the MRC’s Parents Television Council, prime time is a labyrinth of immorality we need help navigating. To that end, PTC’s Family Guide — sent free to advertisers and schools — uses red and yellow lights to flag ”obscene language” (bitch, ass, bite me) and ”adult-oriented themes”; a green light promises ”responsible themes and traditional values,” á la Home Improvement. Here are a few excerpts:

Green Light
Early Edition (CBS) ”An inspiring series, [it] stresses the importance of faith, family, and self-sacrifice.”

Yellow Light
Mr. Rhodes (NBC) ”Six uses of suck appeared in one episode.”
The Simpsons (Fox) ”Has ridiculed entrepreneurs [and] educators.”
Grace Under Fire (ABC) ”One devoutly religious recurrent character has [continuously] been ridiculed for her beliefs.”
Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS) ”Title character is devoted to his wife and children…. [But] the husband and wife frequently discuss their sex life…often lamenting the lack thereof.”

Red Light
Friends (NBC) ”May be the raciest sitcom on prime time. All six regulars have been sexually active, and dialogue has contained…explicitly sexual content.”
3rd Rock From the Sun (NBC) ”Extremely suggestive humor permeates virtually every episode of this early-evening sitcom; obscenities occasionally appear.”
Dark Skies (NBC) ”Attacks the military as consisting of members who consider themselves above the law.”
Cybill (CBS) ”Marriage as an institution is frequently ridiculed…has included situations involving phone sex.”
The Nanny (CBS) ”Queen of the double entendre…[the show] routinely contains sexual innuendo…clearly inappropriate for its young target audience.”