Playing Politics in TV

Oct 26, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Our ongoing analysis of Program Engagement across the English-language broadcast networks in prime time has covered many demographics. Reports have focused on gender, age segments, income and education, among other groups. We thought a new approach would prove more timely and perhaps more provocative.
The table below lists the one regular (non-sports) series from each network with the highest Program Engagement score in the year through the end of September. The top-performing programs are listed by self-described political affiliation—whether respondents considered themselves Democrat, Republican or Independent.
Higher engagement with programs translates to higher recall for commercials within series, so all of the series listed are winners. Two programs, both dramas with a fantasy/sci-fi focus (and both from J.J. Abrams), earn cross-party endorsement: ABC’s “Lost” and, new this season, Fox’s “Fringe.”
Two other series that might be classified as from a similar genre are tops on NBC: “Heroes” is ahead of its rivals among Democrats and Independents, but “Medium” is the winner among Republicans.
CBS also splits the ticket. Comedy “Rules of Engagement” supplies more attentive viewers among Democrats and Independents. But new drama “The Mentalist” is ahead with Republicans.
On The CW, Democrats are more engaged with “Gossip Girl,” but newcomer “Privileged” is ahead among Independents and Republicans.


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