November 05, 2003

where are the young men?

Very interesting piece today by Stuart Elliott in the Times re. the declining prime-time network telvision viewership among the key 18-34 male demographic. The network execs are blaming faulty measurement tactics at Nielsen; and Nielsen execs are rightly worried about the network worriers, since all those worriers pay the other worriers’ bills. (Follow me?) At any rate, the only one in the piece talking any sense is Steven Sternberg, a senior VP of audience analysis at Magna Global:

“Name three series that appeal to young men - you can’t. … If you’re not programming to them, they ain’t going to be there.”

Having just exited that 18-34 demo, of course, I’m now all of a sudden a huge fan of Everybody Loves Raymond, C.S.I., Malcolm in the Middle and Will & Grace. In fact most nights I can be found smack dab in front of the tube, enjoying both the quality programming and their commercial breaks, occasionally shaking my imaginary walking stick at all those youngsters and the nerve they must have abandoning the network broadcasters for those damned video games, chat rooms and porn sites.