An article was recently posted at TV.com by one of the site’s staff writers that really caught my attention. The article’s title was “Network TV: One Foot in the Grave” and the writer stated how he felt that major network TV executives needed to realize that their audience is about to die.
What made him make this kind of statement, you wonder? Well, according to a study released by an “analyst”, the median ages for the audience of the major networks are higher than ever. What are those median ages, you ask? CBS averages out with 55 year olds; ABC averages with 51 year olds; NBC averages the 49 year old crowd and FOX averages with 44 year olds.
Yes, you read those numbers correctly. The writer of this particular article seems to think that TV viewers of these ages are about to die, but does that really make sense? After all, aren’t we living in a day and age where people are living longer than ever before? While it is rather morbid to think of one’s own mortality, the average age for men is 78 and the average age for women is 81. So given those numbers, how is it possible that the major networks need to worry about their average audience members being ready to die when they are in their 40’s and 50’s?
Is it me or does this belief seem a little short-sighted? Sure, the networks (and most of society, for that matter) are youth obsessed, wanting the coveted 18 to 35 year olds to watch their shows, buy their products, et al. Countless shows are geared toward the “young” and advertisers want the viewers in that age bracket to buy, buy, buy. But, do the people within that age range have the disposal income to purchase what is being advertised? Not necessarily. Maybe their parents can buy the products for them; or perhaps couples within that age range can share in the costs; but it’s the people within the median ages of the average major network viewers who can buy without any real concerns.
That being said, the fact still remains that viewers who are in their 40’s and 50’s right now are not close to death for (at least) another 30 to 40 years. So why is there a need for the network executives to worry? And once those within that median age get “older” (closing in on their 70’s and 80’), those in the coveted age bracket of 18 to 35 will have taken over for (or about to come close to) the median age of average viewers who are old and close to death now. It’s a vicious cycle, I know, but determining what is and isn’t old in this modern day isn’t as simple as black and white.
What do you think about this subject matter? Do you believe that viewers who are in their 40’s and 50’s are on their death bed? Please share your thoughts as NiceGirlsTV would love to hear what you have to say.
Musician Spotlight: Joshua Radin is a folk recording artist, songwriter and actor originally from Ohio, who turned to music when he moved to New York City (after stints as an art teacher, screenwriter and art gallery employee). He bought a guitar and taught himself to play and write music. In 2004, a friend gave a demo of Radin’s first composition “Winter” to actor Zach Braff, who promptly used the song in his series Scrubs. His songs were then featured in shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, American Idol and One Tree Hill (among many others). And, his music was heard in movies like The Nanny Diaries, Catch and Release, Adam, The Last Kiss, Post Grad and Dear John. He has released three albums: “We Were Here” in 2006; “Simple Times” in 2008 and “The Rock and the Tide” this year. You can learn more about Joshua Radin here.