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October 10, 2015

Study finds boomer backlash against youth-obsessed TV

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 20th 2006 3:28PM
BitternessAccording to the AP, a study commissioned by rerun-centric network TV Land found that Baby Boomers -- still the largest segment of the population -- are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the youth-oriented programs on TV these days.

The study found that 37 percent of boomers are unhappy with what's on TV, and 80 percent of all people over 40 say that they have trouble finding shows that they can find relatable to their own lives.

Well, duh. I think everyone knows that networks have been going after the 18-to-49 demo for many years, obstensibly because advertisers want to foster brand loyalty while people are young and still open-minded (I've always thought young people chased the new and hip, nevermind the brand. But I never took a poll, so what do I know?). But, now that the majority of boomers are outside of that demographic, they think that networks should follow them into old age, considering they actually have money and purchasing power and everything. How dare they!

Seriously, though, the big clue about why this study was commissioned was revealed later in the article. TV Land's president, Larry Jones, told the AP that the study have convinced him that his strategy of programming for boomers was the right way to go. You know what that means, folks: say good-bye to Bewitched, I Love Lucy, Gilligan's Island, etc., and say hello to thirtysomething, St. Elsewhere, Designing Women, and other Eighties and Nineties fare. I guess nostalgia is relative, especially when you have a survey in your hand, right?

What do you folks think? Do these results jibe with your satisfaction with today's current programming? Let me know in the comments.

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Suzie, you hit the nail on the head several times with your comments. I couldn't agree more. I swear sometimes that almost all tv shows, especially the so-called comedies, are written by horny, 12-year-old boys who love to giggle over the naughty sex jokes.

Don't get me wrong, I love sex. It's probably takes 8 spots out of my top 10 things I like (with food being the other 2), but the incessant barrage of it on tv is annoying and mind-numbing.

November 21 2006 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll take LA Law over The OC any day. And I'm just 34.

November 21 2006 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm a baby boomer. I find I watch less and less television, not because of the youth-oriented shows, but because of the annoyance factor:
1. too many ads
2. logos and ads in the corners of the screen
3. the promos that tell you the story before you get to see the episode; I mean, what's the point of watching when you know everything that's going to happen?
4. the increasing incivility; I try to be understanding about this -- I was young once, too -- but more and more I'd just as soon not watch shows that offend me, or shows sponsored by ads that offend me, which is more often the case
5. so-called "reality" programming
6. game shows that require absolutely no intelligence whatsoever
7. coverage of sporting events overloaded with graphics and sound effects (Fox has pretty much ruined the World Series for me)
8. the lack of credits at the beginning and end of shows
9. the loss of TVGuide as an aid to finding out names of guests on shows which is the main reason I ever purchased it, and, because I suffer from insomnia, the lack of information in print about shows that are on in the overnight hours.
10. I like watching reruns of old shows like St. Elsewhere, but I'd rather see new shows. I enjoy House and 30 Rock and The Office and Friday Night Lights, but more and more I leave the TV off and either read or listen to music.
11. the loss of family programming; even the network promos that are shown during the afternoon and early evening are totally inappropriate for young children
(my children are grown but I continue to worry about what this disregard for children says about our society)
12. the fooling around with the times that shows begin and end; my solution is simply not to watch the show at all; if the networks have that little regard for their viewers, then they deserve to lose us

November 20 2006 at 10:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carey Ruddock

I am 49 years old and I think TV land is pretty much on the right track as it is. The only thing I would change is adding more nostagia programming of a higher quality and dumping some of the shows that were impossible to sit through even when they were new. I mean Good Times for example doen't even make good background noise. How about running The Addams Family, Munsters, My Favorite Martian, Twilight Zone and Outer Limits to name a few. If TV Land were to offer consistantly entertaining nostagia programming around the clock ( and there is plenty to choose from ) then many of us baby boom dinousaurs would never
change the channel.

November 20 2006 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

so what will happened to the current TVLand Slate of 60's and 70's shows once replaced by the 80's cheese ("Misfits of Science" anyone?) Will there be a TVLand2 for the castoff shows? There should be. Still better than the reality crap that airs now.

November 20 2006 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No one wants to watch shows about self absored assholes, who were free in the 1960's, but scared as shit now they'll loose the BMW's amd MB's that they give their kids for sweet 16 parties to keep them out of the house and away from them.

November 20 2006 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, my boyfriend is technically a boomer, at age 45, and he loves the aforementioned shows (well, not St. Elsewhere). I wish they had contacted my mother, who in recent years has become a TvAholic (a term I used to keep for myself). She watches at least two programs ever night; from the CSIs, to Dancing with the Stars. She's 66 years old and pleased as hell with the programming. Go figure.

November 20 2006 at 5:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to say I miss I Love Lucy and all of those shows, it seems all the tv shows now a days all have something to do with sex, drugs, alcohol or all of the above (or briefly show it).

November 20 2006 at 5:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well networks can't play Matlock and Murder She Wrote 24/7. Jeez... some people.

November 20 2006 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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