TV More Popular Than Ever in 2010

1/04/2011 Posted by Admin

TV More Popular Than Ever in 2010

Television News

By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover

It may not come as much of a surprise to everyone suffering in this economic climate, but the NY Times is reporting that Nielsen has found that 2010 was television's most watched year since the company has done its scans. According to the article, Nielsen has found that viewership has grown by one percent for networks and basic cable channels and even though cable continues to see an increase, the lowest rated network, NBC, has twice the number of average viewers as cable's most watched network, USA.

While some film studios are having record breaking years (and others are at rock bottom), television, which is, you know, free, continues to be perhaps the most stable medium as the publishing and music industries continue to disintegrate. What's more interesting about Nielsen's findings is that television's biggest successes still come from playing to the lowest common denominator.

CBS apparently held the number one slot for all but one of the weeks last year thanks to such brave programming choices as "Mike & Molly" and its reboot of "Hawaii Five-O" which, weirdly, was the biggest new show of the year. Sadder yet, the top ten broadcasts of the year were almost all football-related, with even the premiere of "Undercover Boss" arguably only making it onto the list because it debuted immediately after the Super Bowl. The only non-football related or affected broadcast was, obviously, the Academy Awards.

While cable successes like "The Walking Dead," which broke records for its viewership, and "Boardwalk Empire" held their own against the likes of "Jersey Shore," they still didn't offer any competition in the key 18-to-49 demographic which was once again won by Fox and its fleet of competition shows. As perhaps another sign of the economic apocalypse, networks like The History Channel and TLC grew on the strength of shows that appealed to thriftiness, namely the innumerable pawn shop and bargain hunting reality programs. Meanwhile, Americans seem to care less than ever for news as CNN continued to shrink and Fox News has retained a stranglehold on news numbers (though you could argue the entire network might not belong in this category).

Of course, since the Spanish programming channel Univision had the biggest growth of the year, maybe 2011 will find America suddenly immersed in a new telenovella crossover fad. Weirder things have happened.

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