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Monday, July 9, 2007

How Old is Your Show?

Are you a young mind in an old body? Chances are, unless you are the aforementioned anomaly, I can tell you how old you are by the shows and channels your regularly watch. No, I’m really not clairvoyant, just someone who has read the new median age chart for television viewers. Some of the results are quite surprising, especially if you’re an avid viewer of cable news. Judging by the numbers, all of us CNN junkies should be packing our bags for the nursing home.
When it comes to prime time cable news, the 55+ age bracket is the largest group of watchers. In prime time, Headline News has a median age of 56 years, MSNBC 56.1, Fox News 61.2 years and CNN 65+. Those same cable news outlets switched it up a bit for daytime viewers; Headline News 51.2, Fox News 59.7, MSNBC 61.3, and CNN 63.2. And in late night it’s Headline News again in the lead with 50.9, followed by MSNBC with a 53.3, then CNN at 56.6, followed by Fox with a 57.1. This really isn’t great news for CNN, old viewers mean lower ad revenues. Maybe that, in part, explains all those commercials for Head On and audio Bibles? And whatever happened to Trim-a-Beard? But, as usual, I digress.
Sadly, my prime time favorite episodic television put me at a media age of 49.08. And there was one more bit of bad news for my ever aging ego. Since when is there a network called CW? The media age for all of it's programs is 31.4. I’m going to find this CW and start watching. I’m feeling younger already.

Basic Cable Median Ages (Prime, Day, Late Night)
October 2003 - May 2004
Source: MAGNA Global USA analysis of copyrighted Nielsen Media Research data.

NogginDay5.6TBSPrime40.0Turner SouthPrime49.6
NickelodeonDay7.6ESPN2Late40.3Outdoor LifePrime50.1
Toon DisneyDay8.8OxygenDay40.5TravelPrime50.2
DisneyDay8.9LearningPrime40.8National GeoLate50.2
Toon DisneyPrime9.6Disc. HealthLate41.5LifetimePrime50.5
CartoonPrime10.0TV GuidePrime42.0HistoryDay50.5
DisneyPrime11.3CMTDay42.8Headline Late50.9
12-17Disc. HealthPrime42.9AMCLate51.1
DisneyLate12.2SpeedLate43.1National GeoPrime51.5
NogginPrime14.4Turner SouthLate43.2Animal PlanetDay51.6
Nick-At-NitePrime14.7Outdoor LifeLate43.3BiographyPrime51.7
Toon DisneyLate15.2CMTLate43.5WeatherPrime51.7
ABC FamilyDay20.7FoodLate44.9National GeoDay52.2
MTVLate21.7Animal PlanetLate45.1FoodDay52.6
ComedyLate28.4TNTPrime46.3TV LandPrime53.5
VH1Late28.9USALate46.4TV LandDay54.0
NickelodeonLate31.2WELate47.0Turner SouthDay55.1
Disc HealthDay33.5BiographyLate47.4MSNBCPrime56.1
ESPNLate36.2SpeedPrime47.6FOX NewsLate57.1
ESPNDay36.4Lifetime MoviesDay47.6HeadlineDay58.2
ABC FamilyPrime36.6Outdoor LifeDay47.6GamePrime58.6
LearningDay36.8Animal PlanetPrime47.7CNBCDay58.8
TV GuideDay36.8TV LandLate47.8GameDay58.8
TV GuideLate37.4Lifetime MoviesLate48.1FOX NewsDay59.7
ABC FamilyLate37.5USAPrime48.2HallmarkPrime60.1
FXLate38.0Lifetime MoviesPrime48.6FOX NewsPrime61.2





Evelyn said...

Wow that's really interesting information, thanks for posting it. What does that make me then? An avid CNN watching 20 year old...hmm interesting.

As for the CW...if I recall correctly, it's the new fusion of two old networks: UPN and the WB. It's programming is geared toward younger viewers I think. The only thing I watched on it was Gilmore Girls because that carried over from the WB.

Don't worry Phebe, you're still young at heart, and that's good enough in my book :)

Sheryn said...

So what does it mean if 1/2 the day I only watch Noggin and the other half the day I only watch CNN. I guess I'm 21 yrs old again? Well then I'd say I LOVE YOUR SURVEY!!!! LOL! Thanks for a post that is good for the ego!

Em said...

Hi Phebe,

I was looking at this survey Saturday and was a little surprised at the median age for CNN viewers. Most of the people I know who watch seem to be in the 35-50 range with a smattering of college age friends who are political and news junkies like I was oh so long ago. I believe Evelyn is correct on the CW. It is channel 30 here which is the former WB and is another clear channel network..what a surprise!! Oh well, I have always been more comfortable with the age group 5-10 years older than I am (or according to these stats 20 years older!) Guess I'll just have to feel older than my years cause I can't see me giving up Anderson for Everyone Hates Chris any time in the near future. And Sheryn, what the heck is Noggin..guess thats what happens when you are over the mommie years and still waiting (impatiently) for the grammie years!!

One last thought..we know LKL is the ratings grabber for CNN and he is an icon for that generation..wonder if that impacts the stats.

Purple Tie said...

I'm actually pretty shocked at the median age for most shows. It's waaaay older than I would of thought. It's interesting, really. And the median age of a CNN viewer is 65? That's weird... most people I know that watch CNN are younger viewers. Great post.

BookAsylum said...

The median age for most of the shows is higher than I would have expected. I'm wondering if thats an indicator that the younger generation doesn't actually watch as much traditional TV.

Great post! (Although, I'm feeling quite a bit older now.)

ACAnderFan said...

The median viewing age for CNN is 65?!?!? I must be a really old 21 year old then...LOL!!!

@evelyn, you're right the CW is a combination of UPN and the WB, and in my opimion it's worse than when those channels were sperate. I do not even know the last time I watched something on the CW channel. I prefer CNN, MTV, E!, VH1

sydney said...

Well, most of the shows I watch regularly are on CBS. Basically, that almost makes me my own mother...

Sapphire said...

oh my gosh all my shows put me in my 40's it doubles my age.......great post Phebe, I need to go put my order in for headon and audio Bibles obvisously LOL