Treacle-Down Theory

Family-friendly shows are coming back. But they don't have to be this sugary

It is a fall ritual as timeworn as buying spiral notebooks and neglecting to vote: asking how much lower TV's moral limbo dance will go. Is TV becoming a nonstop Mardi Gras of skanks flashing themselves for trinkets? Is any broadcaster still interested in programs that a whole family can watch? The answers are yes--and yes. The former is obvious if you have seen the pixelated nudity on Big Brother 3 and Dog Eat Dog. But a sizable minority of the fall's new programs are, shockingly, about families working out problems with love and clean dialogue.

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