No one can deny that right now, the U.S. is extremely politically divided, but there's a TV show that could bring the country together. And no, it's not Game Of Thrones. Turns out, the one TV show Democrats and Republicans can agree on is Bones, according to a new report published by Deadline. And that means, it's time to start marathoning all 12 seasons of the Fox series before Thanksgiving so you can talk about something other than the 2020 election.
In the new report backed by the Pop Culture Collaborative called Are You What You Watch: Tracking the Political Divide Through TV Preferences, the Norman Lear Center at USC Annenberg and the futurePerfect Lab lay out the shows that unite us along political lines, rather than divide us. According to the report, it did this by using survey research on 50 television shows identified by a 2016 New York Times study as being popular on Facebook in areas that correspond to voting behavior in the last presidential election.
The study, which went live Wednesday, April 24, and is Phase One of a larger study to be released later this year, shows the connections between political beliefs and TV viewing habits. Those who conducted the study talked to 3,096 participants whose views lean more liberal or conservative. They also spoke to those swing voters whose political views fall somewhere in between.
The study found that the procedural crime drama Bones is one of the few shows that all three groups — liberal, conservative, and swing voters — could agree on. The series, which ended in 2017, but is still available via streaming, "rated favorably by all who watched, and did not have significantly different viewership by demographic," according to the study's findings. Apparently, everyone just loves themselves some forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel).
It wasn't the only show, though, that all three groups bonded over. America’s Funniest Home Videos, Criminal Minds and Mythbusters all ranked high with all three groups. As did Pawn Stars, but for a very different reason. According to the report, the reality show about the only family-owned pawn ship in Las Vegas is the most hate-watched among all three groups. People from all political backgrounds must be really, really love hate-watching it since it's been on for a whole decade.
Perhaps, no surprise, the report found that the shows that all three groups disliked most — Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Grey's Anatomy, and Scandal — also offer some common ground. (But, honestly, who could possibly hate Meredith Grey or Olivia Pope? Now, that's a debate we'd like to see in the upcoming year.)
As for the shows that are split among political lines, the study also found that the liberal group, which was mostly women and included the most African Americans, really enjoy Modern Family. While conservatives, which had the highest number of senior citizens, preferred other procedurals like NCIS and Criminal Minds. Don't worry, Game Of Thrones also got high marks on this list, too. It's the fan favorite across all groups, but far fewer conservatives watch the show, according to the study.
So, maybe it feels like both sides of the political spectrum can't agree on anything, but apparently, this isn't true because Bones exists, and now in Bones we must trust to bring this nation together.