Friday, February 3, 2017

Demo-lition derby

Just posted a comment on Game Show Paradise about TV's demo obsession. This relates to GSN swapping out John O'Hurley's Family Feud for Match Game...

Other poster: If the shows are getting decent numbers overall, I don't think [demos] should matter, right?

Welcome to the real world of television, with its obsession on 18-49. To take one particularly silly example, Showbuzz (actually a valuable site for cable ratings information) ranks shows on the almighty 18-49 demo. So you get craziness like Little Women on Lifetime - naw, I never heard of the show, either - ranking above O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, even though O'Reilly gets four and half times as many viewers.

Now I'll admit that some programmers are starting to break free from the thrall of 18-49. The U.S. population has aged sharply over the last four decades, and the median age keeps rising. So it's finally dawned on some of the brilliant people running TV that maybe they should appeal to older demos, too. That's why 25-54 seems to be the new trendy demo. In particular, CBS has made a mint off shows that skew somewhat older than conventional wisdom would dictate.

To get back to GSN, their daytime shows skew so old that it really makes little difference if they run Match Game or O'Hurley Feud at 1:00 PM. The audience is always going to be ancient. (I'm 65, so I'm no spring chicken myself. I just watched Match Game on GSN, in fact.) Our little game show network might as well just get as many viewers as they can for all those AARP and Life Alert ads.

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