Rock the Cradle

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Rock the Cradle TV Poster Image
Music stars' kids compete in mostly tame series.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The celebrity parents seem supportive and caring. Some exhibit some mild "stage parenting" behavior, but it's more constructive than destructive. Some of the challenges the celebrities and their kids have faced over the years are discussed, including anorexia, addiction, bankruptcy, and jail time. There's lots of hissing and booing from the audience when they don't agree with a judge. The competitors are from various racial and ethnic backgrounds.


References to being "panty dropper" performers and singing "lingerie music" vs. "sex music." A few women wear midriff-baring shirts, but nothing too revealing.


Audible language includes "crap," "hell," and "damn" words like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped.


Includes songs from various featured artists including Led Zeppelin and Avril Lavigne, as well as MTV video clips of past performances by M.C. Hammer, Twisted Sister, and others. The musicians whose kids are competing are themselves "brands" of a sort.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Discussions about alcoholism, drugs, addiction, and sobriety.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series -- in which the children of well-known music performers compete for a recording contract -- incorporates discussions about some of the challenges the kids have faced as a result of their celebrity parent's career and lifestyle, touching on issues like anorexia, substance abuse, and jail time. There's also some sexual innuendo and strong language ("hell" and "crap" are audible; words like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped). It will probably appeal to music fans of all ages, but some of the content may be iffy for young tweens.

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What's the story?

In ROCK THE CRADLE, music legends' sons and daughters try to sing their own way into stardom. Each of the nine competing celebrity offspring perform live for studio and TV audiences, as well as a panel of judges that includes singer Belinda Carlisle, choreographer Jamie King, fashion guru June Ambrose, and talent manager Larry Rudolph. The judges' scores determine who's safe from elimination each week; the rest must wait until the TV audience votes on who should move to the next round of competition. The winner gets a major recording contract and the chance to step out of their parent's shadow and pave their own road to success.

Is it any good?

Hosted by actor/MTV personality Ryan Devlin, the series offers music fans a chance to watch a new generation of performers try to hit some winning notes. But much of the show's appeal lies in watching their mega-star moms and dads -- like Kenny Loggins, Olivia Newton-John, Bobby Brown, M.C. Hammer, Joe Walsh (the Eagles), and Tom Johnson (the Doobie Brothers). Happily, despite the endless attention they get during the show, these legends act less like celebrities and more like any genuinely proud, loving parent as they cheer their kids on. They also point out that, despite their own personal success and occasional stage parenting, it's important for their kids to work hard and make it on their own.

This fun show will appeal to music fans of all ages, but there is some sexual innuendo and a bit of strong language (words like "crap" and "hell" are used frequently, while those like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped). The series also includes conversations about anorexia, addiction, and jail that might be a bit mature for younger viewers. But for older tweens and teens, this is an enjoyable show that demonstrates that breaking into the music biz takes passion and lots of hard work, no matter how talented or famous your parents are.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it's like to be the child of a celebrity. What kind of pressures do kids face when their parents are in the media spotlight? Do you think it's possible for them to have "normal" lives? Are they pressured to be as successful as their parents and/or to follow their career footsteps? Families can also discuss the appearance of celebs on reality and competition shows. Do you think being on shows like this helps boost their career?

TV details

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