Wednesday, June 15, 2016
So my review will just have to wait for a few days. While I'm irritated, I'll rant on another subject, the 18-49 demo obsession. At TV by the Numbers they laud some ABC sitcom called Uncle Buck for a "solid premiere." But here's the thing. Uncle Buck actually got fewer viewers than its fellow ABC debutant To Tell the Truth. (Okay, it was close. Uncle Buck got 4.9 million viewers and the TTTT eps both got 5.2 million.)
But the sitcom managed a 1.5 in the all-important, ever-so-crucial, we-gotta-have-it, only-thing-that-counts 18-49 demo. The TTTT eps only got 1.0 and 1.2 18-49 ratings. Those few tenths of a point may not look like squat, but the demo-obsessed TV industry covets those 18-49 tenths madly.
In a way this is special pleading. Traditional game shows, the subject of this blog, notoriously skew old. That's why programming execs have always been wary of them. The demo obsession has worked against our little genre for a long time, and the bias shows no signs of receding.