Accidentally on Purpose TV Poster Image

Accidentally on Purpose



Sitcom's premise hangs on consequences of casual sex.
  • Network: CBS
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although the show's premise is based on casual sex, overall it's about making the best of a tricky situation and stepping up to responsibility.

Positive role models

The main characters make serious mistakes, but at heart they're good people who try to do the right thing. Some secondary characters are less than exemplary.

Not applicable

The show's premise is based on the main character getting involved in a one-night stand that leads to pregnancy, but nothing too graphic shown. You can expect lots of innuendo, sexual banter, and jokes about everything from body parts to masturbation.


Some sexually charged terms like "robot porn," "nipples," and "hooker."


Some casual references to brand names, like Skittles.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters occasionally drink to the point of cloudy judgment. A secondary character is assumed to smoke marijuana, though he isn't shown doing it.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that casual sex is the catalyst that jump-starts this sitcom about an unmarried female character in her 30s who gets pregnant and admits that, on more than one occasion, she didn't use protection. The show's jokes are heavy on sexual innuendo and body part humor, but language is mostly curse-free (although you will hear words like "hooker," "porn," etc.). There's also some social drinking. and a secondary character uses marijuana (off screen). The main role models are flawed but generally positive as they try to step up and act responsibly.

What's the story?

On the rebound from a breakup with her boss, James (Grant Show), unmarried Billie (Jenna Elfman) jumps into bed with Zack (Jon Foster), a cute younger man she met at a bar. But she's hardly prepared for the unplanned pregnancy that results from the careless encounter ... which could have been ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE. Billie resolves to keep the baby and invites Zack, who has no place to live, to move in with her as a platonic houseguest. Meanwhile, James expresses second thoughts about getting serious.

Is it any good?


As far as sitcoms go, Accidentally on Purpose is entertaining enough, with some generally funny writing and a strong cast (although Foster, like his character, seems a bit green compared to his co-stars). Elfman lays it on thick with offbeat charm to create a satisfyingly quirky protagonist, and it's great to see Ashley Jensen (Extras) in a supporting turn as her ballsy gal pal. Lines like "He smelled like a Skittle; I feel like I tasted the rainbow" and "I prefer the term 'linx' or 'ocelot' [to 'cougar']" definitely work.

That said, some aspects -- including the premise of having your baby daddy living in your apartment long-term -- seem less certain. And what happens when the baby comes along?

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the real-life consequences of casual sex  -- including pregnancy, parenthood, and a complete change of lifestyle. Are there different complications when it comes to teen pregnancy? Why do some movies and TV shows portray unplanned pregnancies as funny?

  • What do you make of Billie's choices? What do you think about Zack's commitment to be a part of the baby's life? Are either of them ready for parenthood? What makes someone a good parent?

  • Who's the show's target audience? How can you tell?

TV details

Premiere date:September 21, 2009
Cast:Grant Show, Jenna Elfman, Jon Foster
TV rating:TV-PG

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Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written byangmom April 9, 2010

Not for kids at all

I personally like the show. However it is not appropriate for kids before High School. Very sex oriented.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byJdausten3 April 23, 2011

Hilarious, if you are mature enough...

I loved the show. I bought the first season and still watch it. I was very sad to see it cancelled. I watched it at age 13 (7th Grade). Some scenarios and dialogue are racy, but its nothing you don't hear at school. It was a clever show with great casting.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing