Millennials, Your Views Don't Impact Television Ratings Anymore
New findings have shown that in addition to the overall American population getting older, the broadcast television viewing audience has aged pretty significantly since the '90s. A Commercial Appeal report found that the average viewing age of today's most watched show on television, NCIS, is 61. So despite the lack of coverage for NCIS versus, say, The Bachelor or True Detective or Lindsay Lohan's new reality show, it is currently the nation's most watched program, and the reason we never hear about it is because we're still young with lives to live. Other than me of course, because I love NCIS and secretly look down on all you young folks for having poor taste in programming.
The study found that since 1994, when the most watched show in the nation was Home Improvement, the average viewing age has increased by 27 years. What's interesting is the inevitable shift, in both programming and advertising, that such information is bound to cause. After all, if no one under the age of 35 is actually tuning in live to watch Cougar Town, then maybe it's not worth trying to appeal to a young crowd to begin with.
It seems reasonable, then, to expect more corny but enjoyable cop dramas in our future, since older people are the ones tuning in. If it ain't broke, I doubt the networks will try to fix it.
Another interesting consideration this study brings to light is the massive use of streaming by millennials. We don't tune in for live shows anymore, ain't nobody got time for that, we stream them from the comfort of our laptops. But, as a result, our views don't get factored into ratings, and therefore we lose our voice in television.
I'm fairly certain we'll all be tuned in for Game of Thrones, but HBO can't really keep track of how many of you found the latest episodes on illegal sites, so who knows, maybe our favorite shows might be up for cancellation due to our generation's inability to buy a television or watch at regular viewing times.
One can't help but think that a television revolution must surely be coming, that, or we better get ready for a whole lot of shows that Grandpa and Grandma would find titillating.