Prime-time audiences drop by double-digits in 2016


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Interesting: The prime-time audiences for all four major networks dropped by double-digits in 2016,

The big four networks’ ratings are all down double-digit percentages for the fall season. Premiere week for new shows in September was down 12 percent compared to last year, and nothing has happened since to reverse the decline. The top-rated prime-time show in November was CBS’ “Big Bang Theory.” The audience size would have made that program the 79th-ranked show 40 years ago, trailing such losers as “Mr. Belvedere.” CBS’ top new offering, “Bull,” opened to moderate success this fall, but since has lost a fourth of its audience. Only “This is Us” on NBC seems to be holding its own among new shows.

Just as the Democratic Party’s obsession with leftwing, identity politics has driven middle America from that party, it appears that the leftwing, urban, coastal culture that dominates both that party and the television business has finally gotten so blatant and heavy-handed that it has driven that same middle America audience away from prime-time. The following quote from the article illustrates this point quite well:

The people producing television programs in Los Angeles and New York are disconnected from the conventional, regular people who live in the rest of the nation. It is increasingly difficult to get traditional people to watch bizarre, trashy and/or violent content that goes over just fine with the snooty, artiste elite in a network programming office. Those network snobs are basically programming shows based on their narrow world view, overlooking the values and interests of millions of people who need to be in the audience if network television is to survive.

Exhibit A for this distorted mindset is ABC’s “The Real O’Neal’s.” The program blatantly ridicules a Catholic family and Catholic practices. The program has attracted small audiences, but that hasn’t kept ABC from forging ahead with its cultural insults. An analysis by the Parents Television Council found the show has an instance of adult content every 43 seconds, more than half involving a 16-year-old character. Sensible Americans don’t consider crudeness and mockery of religion to be entertainment.

The article goes on to describe an additional show under development called “Holy Sh*t,” focused on “a struggling church and their edgy new pastor.” Boy, that’s really gonna resonant with the folks in Peoria.

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8 comments

  • wayne

    Interesting.
    I had not realized the tumble was accelerating at such an increasing rate. Doesn’t surprise me.

    Personally, I cut out 90% of my news-viewing on cable/network during this year, and have vowed to myself to cut out the last 10% by January 1st. (C-Span is fine with me, direct and unfiltered.)
    As for network situation-comedy’s; long ago got totally sick of 99% of them.
    I have satellite for television, but over the past year I’ve grown completely comfortable with the idea of dumping my satellite and transitioning to internet-delivered TV, exclusively.

    When I think about it– I regularly watch less than 10 channels, none of which are network.
    [I do watch NCIS & Bang Theory, but rarely on the CBS network feed. (Bang Theory, in my humble opinion, jumped the shark, way back in the first 3 episodes of season 1, but it’ still amusing and I want to see how they end it. Watch the un-aired Pilot, infinitely more humorous set-up, but apparently not ready for prime time, at the time.)]

    Getting tired of Beck and The Blaze, but interested to see what he says into the next quarter, then I’ll decide if I want to continuing paying him. Thoroughly enjoy CRTV, with Levin, Malkin, Steyn, and Crowder, and will continue paying them.
    I guess my only decision going forward is, Netflix or Amazon Prime…. (or both)
    “Everything else”– they can all go bankrupt for all I care.

  • Wayne

    Ben Shapiro –
    “Primetime Propaganda:
    The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV”
    C-Span Book TV event at Heritage (2011)
    https://youtu.be/NTirUr_oJZQ
    (48:18)

  • wodun

    There are only one or three shows that I watch in any given week and none of them are on the big three. I’ve been cutting back on TV and will continue to do so. Although, if History channel actually had history on it again, I would watch more.

    The alternatives of Netflix, Amazon, and others are all appealing but its hard to escape the cable company. Amazon Prime is really cool though for shopping online and having shows/movies included is a nice bonus.

  • pzatchok

    The old air wave networks are just delivery streams. Paid for by commercials.

    They are ALL being over taken by the internet delivery systems. Even their own cable ‘channels’.

    Now they just have to decide if internet delivery, free with ads, subscription, or some other financing system would be best for them.

    I just hope that when the TV networks give up televised networks the frequencies are given up to HAM operation.

  • wayne

    Wodun/pzatchok;
    Good stuff.

    Yes, it is hard to escape the local Cable provider.
    In my area, we only have Comcast & the “phone-company” delivering internet. Satellite internet is available as well, but very costly, DISH for example, wants $10 a GB for internet access.

  • pzatchok

    When there was just three networks and a few local stations created some content The big three had the luxury of airing the best they could come up with and charging advertisers good for it.

    The radio spectrum, tv channels, are the internet of the past. And it costs billions to operate tv stations all over the US. If you count in all the local stations.

    But now that the internet is virtually a source for unlimited small time cheap ‘networks’ the old networks have to put anything out there and take any amount of profit they can get.

    All they have a chance of making good money on are the sports events the republican/conservatives watch. And they just don’t have contact with those people so they just don’t understand them, and so don’t have more content for them.

    Everything else they just pray to break even on. So of course they are making shows to appeal to the micro audiences such as the black, BDSM, lesbian, orange pickers of Florida.
    Ratings no longer matter. Its all in the advertising sales.

    They wouldn’t have lasted even this long if it wasn’t for the cable companies charging for delivery and paying the networks for their content. this income has made up for the loss of advertising sales.

    I believe I read someplace that content is even drying up.
    Netflix have outspent ALL other networks for the last 4 years. They are buying up any and all content they can find all around the world. Spending something like 3 billion dollars.
    Pretty much leaving the black BDSM lesbian orange pickers as the as the only new content the others could buy. Thats why there are so many remakes being done.

  • wayne

    pzatchok-
    Good stuff.

  • Edward

    The last thing I was watching on TV was NOVA, but Neil deGrasse Tyson turned if from a show that told us in depth about a science topic to a show that merely introduced science topics. Rather than learning something about science, I learned very little. My television has now been off for so long that I cannot remember what year it was last turned on. I can’t even find the remote in order to turn it on.

    pzatchok wrote: “I just hope that when the TV networks give up televised networks the frequencies are given up to HAM operation.

    Unfortunately, the chance of such a nice service from the government is low. The US government has turned the radio spectrum (including TV) into a revenue source. Half a decade ago, several of my favorite radio stations switched around on the spectrum, because the government put up for sale the various frequencies.

    When that happened, I also lost my favorite classical music station. It has come back under a new format of several low-power stations around the area.

    What used to be the public’s airwaves, and only regulated by the government, has somehow become government property.

    But it is nice to know that government is here to serve us rather than the other way around. [Oops. Sarcasm alert!]

    pzatchok wrote: “All they have a chance of making good money on are the sports events the republican/conservatives watch.

    Yet the sports channels and teams are alienating their viewers, taking political sides that favor the government’s positions on non-sports related issues.

    With our personal funds drying up due to the high cost of the mandated health insurance, we are turning to purchases of things that we want rather than things that remind us of the control that we lost over our own lives.

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