ATLANTA — Entertainment critic Michael Medved, author of "Hollywood vs. America" and star of a nationally syndicated radio program, is launching a new ratings system for all facets of entertainment, based on the criteria of age-appropriateness and values. Television programs, movies, video and DVD releases, computer games and music that qualify will receive the Good Entertainment seal of approval. Medved will introduce the system during a television special to be seen at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 on Pax TV and at 8 p.m. Dec. 16 on the Hallmark Channel.

Question: You've been talking about values and entertainment for years now. Do you think things are getting better or worse?

Answer: In general, I think there's been some important progress. I would give as evidence for that something we're going to be discussing on the show. The Hollywood and the national press have caught up with something I started discussing 12 years ago — that the best way to make a profit in entertainment is to aim at a family audience. Look at the recent phenomenal success of such movies as "Harry Potter," "Shrek," "Monsters, Inc.," "The Princess Diaries" and "Spy Kids." It's no longer possible to ignore the obvious. The result of this is more alternatives in family entertainment, and a steady de-emphasis on violence in TV as well as movies.

Question: But isn't there a lot more graphic sex and sexual innuendo on TV and in movies?

Answer: That's absolutely true. Certainly there's a lot more controversial TV. Part of the reason is TV attempting to compete with cable and movies and the Internet. The TV rating system is a disaster. It's capricious and arbitrary and useless. What's needed is one rating system with the same standard for TV, movies, video games and CDs, all aspects of entertainment.

Question: Doesn't this issue draw a wide cross section of supporters? You're Jewish. There are outspoken evangelical Christians such as Ted Baehr of Movieguide and Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association. And Tipper Gore has been strongly identified with an effort to inform parents about the music their kids are hearing.

Answer: I did congressional testimony for the House Judiciary Committee on the need for a national rating system. A few months later, it was picked up by my former law school classmate Hillary Clinton. It's not a liberal-conservative issue. It's not a Christian-secular issue. It's a parental issue. It's an American issue.