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September 1, 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.

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Barbra Streisand talks to The Doctors

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 16th 2009 11:30AM
streisand_afiThere will be an interesting guest checking in with The Doctors today -- Barbra Streisand. No, the singer/actress/director won't be talking about dry throat or stage fright or even tinnitus, an ailment she suffers from that causes an unending high-pitched ringing in the ears.

Barbra Streisand is calling in to The Doctors to discuss heart health awareness for women... and even though I've never watched The Doctors, I will today. I guess that's why and how celebrity helps causes like this. It draws attention and, presumably, I'm going to get something of value out of tuning in. I've already had my eyes opened.

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Study: Women are heavier PVR users than men

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 28th 2008 9:02AM
MagnosticismAccording to a new study (PDF link), women are more likely to stream TV shows from network web sites than men, and they're more likely to time-shift their TV viewing with a personal video recorder. While both of these activities may seem like the geeky domain of guys with thick glasses, there's a pretty simple explanation. Men are more likely to watch sports, which is far more time sensitive than most other programs. If you took any group of folks and divided them up into heavy sports viewers and people who watch, well, pretty much anything else, you'd probably find that group B spends more time with the PVR too.

The study from Solutions Research Group found that 15% of women watched a streaming network TV program last month, while just 11% of men did. And women time-shift about 56% of their television viewing, compared to 42% for men.

The study also looks at other digital lifestyle activities like video game usage, online shopping, and downloading movies from the internet.

[via CNet]

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ABC's radical new plan for video-on-demand

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 25th 2008 4:26PM
bettyAre you kidding me? In a bold new way, ABC has come up with a way to keep viewers from fast-forwarding through the commercials! Okay, it's only in the video-on-demand universe (VOD), but it feels like what was once a convenient, fast way to catch up on episodes of your favorite shows is now going to be invaded with ads you cannot avoid unless you walk out of the room.

In a move they're touting as a win-win, ABC/Disney announced today an arrangement that "allows local affiliates to participate in the fast-forwarding disabled VOD offering." The network agrees to provide episodes of their top shows for use in local advertising supported VOD services as long as those operators agree to disable the "fast-forwarding" capability so viewers can't zap through the commercials. There'll be ads inserted, both local and national, but not as many as the on-air broadcasts of shows like Ugly Betty, Lost and Desperate Housewives.

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Products galore...and you can't avoid them

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 22nd 2008 11:04AM
30 Days dinnerIs it really a big surprise that television advertising isn't as effective as it used to be? As TV watchers -- okay, we're uber-watchers -- we know that with DVRs and TiVos we're zooming through ads, or we're channel surfing in between segments of our favorite shows, or renting/buying content in formats that allow us to avoid commercials altogether. Now, according to the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research's TV & Technology Survey, we learn that six out of 10 marketers believe that TV advertising has become less effective in the past two years. And it's getting worse.


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TiVo sells advertisers your private info (if you opt-in)

by Brad Linder, posted Nov 8th 2007 10:01AM
TiVoIt's no secret TiVo has been selling user data to advertisers for a while now. The concept is pretty simple: if you're upset people are using TiVo to skip some commercials, why don't you take advantage of this rich anonymous user data we're collecting about how people watch TV to make more effective commercials?

But now TiVo is removing the "anonymous" from that sentence. Well, sort of. TiVo reports that 20,000 volunteers have opted into a new Power Watch program that lets advertiser have access to their age, income, marital status, ethnicity, and other demographic data, but not their names. TiVo users who opt-in get entered into a content to win a free TiVo. Of course, they already need to have a TiVo in order to qualify, but who couldn't use a second box in the bedroom?

[via Gizmodo]

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The first commercial in a break (kind of ) gets the highest ratings

by Brad Linder, posted Aug 21st 2007 1:30PM
TiVo RemoteNew research suggests something that you probably could have guessed without doing a study. PVR users are most likely to watch the first advertisement during a TV commercial break than the ads that follow. That's according to a new study by Magna Global.

But here's where it gets tricky. Magna analyzed second by second data provided by TiVo. What they found was that a TV program's ratings dropped by 59% during the commercial break. But for the first commercial in that break, there was only a 49% drop. Great, so advertisers should get out their checkbooks and prepare to pay more for that first spot, right? Not so fast.

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Study: 1 in 5 US households has a PVR

by Brad Linder, posted Aug 21st 2007 11:59AM
The LRGLeichtman Research Group reports that about 20% of US households have a personal video recorder. That's up from 12% according to a study released by the same firm last year, and up from about 7% two years ago.

The study also finds that:
  • More than half (53%) of PVR owners say they have an HDTV set (although it's not clear from the press release if they have a HD PVR)
  • 45% of respondents say they record five or fewer programs per week
  • The mean household income of PVR owners is 33% above average
  • While most PVR owners say the ability to skip commercials is very important, only 8% say it's the main benefit of owning a PVR.
In other words, this is the latest in a long line of studies aimed at television execs looking for evidence that PVrs are not killing the industry. If PVR owners have money to spend, and don't think commercial skipping is the single most important thing their little box does, then there's hope, right?

But that's what happens when you ask loaded question. Just because users say that commercial skipping isn't the most important feature (I'm willing to bet it's the ability to watch TV on one's own schedule), doesn't mean they'll be happy if you take it away.

[via TV Predictions]

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Do TV commercials work just as well if you fast forward?

by Brad Linder, posted Aug 10th 2007 12:21PM
Max HeadroomWe've heard of networks doing all sorts of crazy research to prove to advertisers that PVR owners don't skip commercials as much as they pretend to. Or when they do actually fast forward, they're still paying attention.

Last month, the head of NBC Universal's news research division said that the network has been performing "neurological and biometric" research. Essentially they hooked about 20 TV viewers up to special equipment and measured their physical responses to commercials. They found that people were paying attention. And in fact, after they were finished watching TV episodes, the viewers were able to remember brands that had been advertised just about as well as if they had watched 30 second commercials.

On the one hand, the sample seems pretty small. And it's possible that the reason viewers were "highly engaged," is because they were still pumped up from watching Heroes, or because they were trying to figure out when the fast-forwarded commercials would end.

On the other hand, Silicon Alley Insider raises a good point. If the 5-second blipverts are just as effective as full 30 second commercials, should NBC really be promoting this research? Because what it really suggests is that advertisers are paying too much for full length commercial spots.

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YouTube users watch less TV

by Brad Linder, posted Feb 8th 2007 2:03PM
YouTube1 in 3 people who say they frequently watch YouTube videos say that they watch less TV because of their online video habit. That's according to a recent poll by Harris Interactive.

Two thirds of frequent YouTube viewers say they're sacrificing some other activity to watch videos, which shouldn't be surprising because it's hard to watch a video while you're reading a book. The number one activity folks say they give up to spend time on YouTube is visiting other websites, with television ranking second on the sacrificed activity list.

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Watching less TV won't make kids exercise more

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 7th 2007 8:04AM
Television Kids EatingI love science. It allows you to say commonsensical things, but with proof. The latest non-revelation to be offered by researchers is that switching off the television does not guarantee that children will exercise. A four-year study of more than 10,000 American children ages 10 to 15 found no correlation between the amount of time spent watching television and the amount of time spent engaged in vigorous activity.

According to the study, long hours spent watching television has contributed to the obesity epidemic among children, but killing your television won't reverse the trend. Watching TV and physical exercise are not "functional opposites." If they were, everyone would be on a "no television" diet.

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TV personalities take on stem cell research

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 25th 2006 12:40PM

michael j foxOur sister sites Cinematical and Ad Jab --that's me who wrote the Ad Jab post, but when I write for Ad Jab I wear a mustache so as not to confuse me with myself-- have been all over this, so forgive us for being a bit behind, but as many of you probably know, Michael J. Fox has been appearing in campaign commercials for people who are running for senate and who support stem cell research. He's appeared in ads for Maryland's Ben Cardin and for Missouri's Claire McCaskill (clip after the jump).

To drive the point home, Fox appears in these ads, sans medication and with the involuntary tremors and shakes that are a part of his Parkinson's made obvious.* Other celebs from television, however, don't share Fox's view, and one of them is Patricia Heaton, who appears in an ad (also after the jump) that opposes the measure in Missouri. I'll let you folks watch both ads and duke it out in the comments, though my friendly advice to anyone is to not get caught up in the politics of this debate and instead read up on the actual science behind it and then make an informed decision. You may not come to the same conclusion I have, but at least you'll be well-informed and not persuaded by actors, or Rush Limbaugh for that matter.

*Fox's tremors are actually a side effect of being on his medication, not off it. Apologies for my assumption.

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Study links TV watching to autism

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 17th 2006 4:06PM

toy tvOngoing research at Cornell University has revealed a possible link between autism and children under the age of three who watch television. The study found that when cable became more prominent in households in the '80s, autism rates also increased. The study has not found anything specific in television viewing that may trigger autism in young children, only that there is a strong correlation between the two. Some have pointed out it may not be television, but indoor air pollution that may be the root of the problem.

While experts study this and try to come to a consensus, I think laypersons should see this as a reminder that too much television exposure at a young age is not a good thing. As Slate's Gregg Easterbrook points out in his article, humans evolved responding to three-dimensional stimuli, and repeated exposure to two-dimensional images, whether it turns out to be directly linked to autism or not, is still not a good thing in the early stages of development.

[via Netscape]

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Daytime TV makes old people dumb

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 20th 2006 1:06PM
old ladyWell, maybe. Actually, a recent study showed older women who cite daytime dramas and talk shows as their favorite shows to watch did not score as well as those who listed other shows. However, Dr. Joshua Fogel of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, the man who conducted the tests, was quick to point out this doesn't mean there's a direct link between stupid daytime shows and actually being stupid. Heck, if seeing stupid things on TV actually made you stupid this whole blog would be completely unreadable since we'd all be drooling and banging on our keyboards with our foreheads. Anyway, the research hasn't really proved anything, except their MIGHT be a connection between the shows we choose to watch and our own cognitive ability. Well, I know Grover's demonstration of "near" and "far" has helped me tremendously with my grasp of spatial relations, so maybe they're right.

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What are college students watching on television?

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 15th 2006 8:51AM
south park neilsenNeilsen Media Research is finally going to answer that question, now that it has decided to include college students in its ratings research. Starting next year, it will include dorm-bound and apartment-dwelling college students in its national sample of viewers. This could increase the coveted 18-24 viewership numbers from 3 to 12 percent. Neilsen estimates that college students who don't live at home with mom and dad watch 24 hours of television each week.

What did/do you watch during college? I actually didn't watch much television during college. All I remember watching is Conan O'Brien and South Park, which began in my junior year.

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