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October 7, 2015

Republicans Love 'Modern Family,' Democrats Favor 'Dexter,' New Study Shows

by Chris Harnick, posted Nov 10th 2010 10:45AM
Modern Family'Modern Family,' a seemingly liberal show about a blended family -- with a gay couple and adopted kids -- is among the favorites of Republicans. Say what?

According to a new study by Experian Simmons, Republicans favor many of TV's biggest hits such as 'Modern Family,' 'American Idol' and 'Dancing With the Stars.' On the Democrats' side, TV favorites include cable shows like 'Dexter' and 'Mad Men.'

"The big shows with mass appeal tend to have above-average scores from Democrats and Republicans but with higher concentrations of Republicans," John Fetto, senior marketing manager at Experian Simmons, told The Hollywood Reporter. "Looking at the Democrats side, I don't mean to make light of it, but they seem to like shows about damaged people. Those are the kind of shows Republicans just stay away from."

Unsurprisingly, the top show for Republicans is 'Glenn Beck' and 'Countdown With Keith Olbermann' for Democrats. But who knew Democrats favored 'Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami'?

Check out the full list below.

Experian Simmons Research

Do Republicans control Nielsen ratings? It appears that way at first glance, with Democrats favoring smaller, cult-hit shows. But look at the opposing party scores on the Republican show list: Many of these ratings champions such as 'Dancing With the Stars' and 'American Idol' have close numbers among both parties.

'Dancing With the Stars,' which pulls in more than 19 million viewers with its performance episodes, has 117 Republican fans, but only five fewer Democrats said they watch the series too.

The research suggests that CBS programs, which are some of the biggest hits on TV, seem to reach across party lines. 'How I Met Your Mother' and 'The Good Wife' both attract similar numbers from both parties.

Niche cable shows such as 'Breaking Bad' and 'Mad Men' seem to have the biggest difference in viewers. Does that mean more Democrats have premium cable? It could, but it could also suggest that Democrats are more daring with their TV picks. 'Mad Men' and 'Dexter' are both critically acclaimed shows, but are hardly ratings winners. The fourth season of 'Mad Men' averaged just 2.92 million viewers each week.

'30 Rock' and 'Community,' cult-hit comedies on NBC, also have large gaps between Republican and Democrat fans. Both shows are critically acclaimed, yet they hover around 4 to 5 million viewers each week. Both shows are quirky comedies, and generally considered "smarter" than typical sitcoms.

'Friday Night Lights,' perhaps the most adored show on the list, has only eight more Democrat fans than Republican ones. Does the subject matter reach across party lines? The series follows a Texas high school football coach and is critically acclaimed as one of the best dramas on TV? Regardless of its bipartisan appeal, it has not done well in the ratings game. 'FNL's' highest rated episode peaked around 7.5 million viewers.

This research leaves us with all sorts of questions and theories to ponder, but we'd love to hear what you have to say.

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Weird. I saw a completely different list on another website. It said republicans like something called Swamp Loggers! LOL It didn't mention Modern Family as high on repubs list but The Middle was... Very odd. BTW what the heck is Swamp Loggers?! Is that a "real" TV show?

December 07 2011 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watch a whole lot less of any of those network shows than normal apparently. I love watching Mantracker, Firefly Reruns, Reality shows such as Gene Simmons, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal Kids, Billy the Exterminator, Pawn Stars, The Pickers, Country Music Channel & PBR. I hunt for new & different shows. Watch Science Channel a lot. Only watch Networks when there's nothing better to watch. Course I never have been considered "ordinary".

December 07 2011 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

modern family rep? plz!

November 20 2011 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is soooo wrong... I am defintely not a
Republican and love most of the Rep shows.....

November 27 2010 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Republicans listen to more radio (talk/commentary with news every 30 minutes) because they work more than democrats ~10% of democrat voters don't speak English. You can't watch TV and work at most jobs. Craftsmen tend to be conservative because they are more likely to listen to AM Radio and work at the same time. The listening makes them better informed so even liberals who listen to AM radio may become informed and become conservative. Liberals tend to prefer drama, fiction and music. They are less able to reason and focus on information for extended periods of time.

November 24 2010 at 10:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lyn's comment

haha that's a great explanation. Except... that you're forgetting that Democrats are stereotypically either bright intellectuals or poor minority people. This is because smart people can be rational and fair, and because of this they're democrats. Or, they are poor or are in the minority and benefit from the intellectual Democrat's fair policies. Republicans, on the other hand, contain many business executives (this is because they benefit from the extreme corporate deregulation policies of that party.) But, most of the republican party is comprised of uneducated rural people who are essentially irrational, cannot imagine a church separated from the state, and who's thinking only reaches the neolithic level that they oppose change in any form, which is the basis for the conservative ideology. Studies also show that Republicans do tend to listen to more talk opinion talk shows while Democrats tend to listen to more public radio news (such as npr.) For some reason, Republicans hate being told that their party might have done something wrong whether it's true or not. I guess that's why Fox News is so popular; that channel spins just about anything in a radical conservative direction.

April 20 2011 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pianodb's comment

Actually ProgLibs (and those who follow them) just claim to be intellectuals. They're no brighter than Conservatives and Conservatives are more likely to examine and research claims than they are to blindly follow the words others put into their heads. I don't pass on information to others until I have researched it and determined what I've learned from one source is supported by another source. Too many Libs appear to repeat canned "talking points". It's downright scary! I have studied all of the religions of the world and find most of them compatible with my own understanding. As for Fox News, I'm pretty sick of their "fair and balanced reporting"...I have trained my cat to hit the mute button whenever they're being too "fair and balanced". I'd just as soon not have to listen to Bob Beckel, and the sudden appearance of BHO activates the cat immediately! He would rather hit the mute button than here me yelling "Liar Liar Liar" at the television.

December 07 2011 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

I don't understand how they organized the info in this list. Why is Desperate Housewives a popular Republican show if it got the same score from both Democrats and Republicans, for example? I've replotted the data so it's a little easier to tell what's going on:


November 23 2010 at 1:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rob's comment

I've never seen Desperate Housewives. I'm Conservative.

December 07 2011 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wishladya's comment

Wishy, I read your earlier comments. Either you or your cat is confused. Sorry, your cats says it's YOU!!!

December 07 2011 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Lisa Gehring

Maybe it just shows that Democrats and Republicans have more in common than we think we do. Hmmmmm, Im a Liberal Democrat watching many of the Republican shows and even checked out Sarah Palin's Alaska this week (please forgive me!). Maybe if our representatives stood around the water cooler talking about the TV shows they watched the night before, they would find a common ground to begin negotiations on important issues. Pass the remotes across the aisle! :)

November 20 2010 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Of all these shows, I watch Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and (on DVD) Dexter. 2 1/2 Men used to be funny when the kid was little, but Charlie Sheen is funnier in real life now than he is on the show. I've tried to watch some of the others such as Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory but they seem too cute-sy and self-aware.

November 20 2010 at 8:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"It's certainly true that 'Dancing' is more popular among Republican viewers than among Democratic viewers"

The Hollywood Reporter. "Looking at the Democrats side, I don't mean to make light of it, but they seem to like shows about damaged people. Those are the kind of shows Republicans just stay away from."

I can readily answer that; as to why: More of them, Republicans, are damaged people.

My basis, in fact, the amount of medically and academically trained working psychologists in my family.

November 18 2010 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This list is laughable! I don't know who was surveyed and by what means they were qualified to be "Republicans" but this is the biggest joke I have ever seen! Some moron somewhere wanted his 15 minutes to "prove" that there was a conspiracy to keep Palin in "Dancing With the Stars" - so he manufactured a list to get people talking about a RIDICULOUS conspiracy. And the sheep in the media could not wait to pounce. Their agenda is transparent and pathetic. By the way, I'm sure there was an AFC/NFC conspiracy in the NFL when Emmitt Smith won over Mario Lopez, who was clearly a better dancer. This is one Republican who unashamedly loves the show Dexter - and didn't even recognize most shows on the Republican "list." Of course, adding Beck on one side and Olbermann on the other was supposed to make it all look legit. If Liberals want to get into the minds of Republicans - they should bring a dictionary and a thesaurus - and put the clickers down.

November 18 2010 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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