Ratings Rant...Why don't Networks like People over 50?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Jonny P, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. Jonny P

    Jonny P Supporting Actor

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    USA Network is launching new seasons of two of my favorite shows -- The Dead Zone and Monk.

    I thoroughly enjoy both and look forward to each new season (and partial season) that is aired.

    Another show I really enjoyed was "Peacemakers" with Tom Berenger. The show was a fairly entertaining western, and Tom Berenger is always good...

    I now realize that "Peacemakers" wasn't renewed by USA.

    Apparently, there were too many viewers over the age of 50 for programmers.

    I am 31...I liked the show...

    Since when do we have to have a stigma about people over 50? I mean, they have money too and most of the people I know over 50 go and buy products like everyone else.

    No...they might not buy "low-rider jeans" and the latest Britney Spears CD, but there are numerous products that appeal to that demographic.

    People are living a lot longer than they used to. 50 is almost middle age these days.

    If keeping a show like "Peacemakers" means that they have to sell a few extra Cialis commercials, then fine.

    I am disappointed because I really thought that "Peacemakers" was a quality show and worth at least another season.
     
  2. Jonny P

    Jonny P Supporting Actor

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    USA Network is launching new seasons of two of my favorite shows -- The Dead Zone and Monk.

    I thoroughly enjoy both and look forward to each new season (and partial season) that is aired.

    Another show I really enjoyed was "Peacemakers" with Tom Berenger. The show was a fairly entertaining western, and Tom Berenger is always good...

    I now realize that "Peacemakers" wasn't renewed by USA.

    Apparently, there were too many viewers over the age of 50 for programmers.

    I am 31...I liked the show...

    Since when do we have to have a stigma about people over 50? I mean, they have money too and most of the people I know over 50 go and buy products like everyone else.

    No...they might not buy "low-rider jeans" and the latest Britney Spears CD, but there are numerous products that appeal to that demographic.

    People are living a lot longer than they used to. 50 is almost middle age these days.

    If keeping a show like "Peacemakers" means that they have to sell a few extra Cialis commercials, then fine.

    I am disappointed because I really thought that "Peacemakers" was a quality show and worth at least another season.
     
  3. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I don't think any station believes in "too many viewers" of any kind. More likely, there weren't enough viewers in the more "desirable" demographics.

    As to why 18-34 year olds are more desirable than 50+... I can't guess. One thing I read is that the perception is that older people are more set in their buying patterns; that a 55-year-old is more likely to be a "Ford Man" than a 25-year-old buying his first new car, and not as susceptible to advertising. There's also the feeling that they don't go out as much, so the weekend-entertainment targeted beer or movie companies that are a huge chunk of Thursday-night or sports advertisers aren't as interested.

    I don't know how accurate a perception that is (and remember, before anyone shouts and say that they don't fit into it, that neither you nor the HTF as a whole is a representative sample), but it does exist.
     
  4. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I don't think any station believes in "too many viewers" of any kind. More likely, there weren't enough viewers in the more "desirable" demographics.

    As to why 18-34 year olds are more desirable than 50+... I can't guess. One thing I read is that the perception is that older people are more set in their buying patterns; that a 55-year-old is more likely to be a "Ford Man" than a 25-year-old buying his first new car, and not as susceptible to advertising. There's also the feeling that they don't go out as much, so the weekend-entertainment targeted beer or movie companies that are a huge chunk of Thursday-night or sports advertisers aren't as interested.

    I don't know how accurate a perception that is (and remember, before anyone shouts and say that they don't fit into it, that neither you nor the HTF as a whole is a representative sample), but it does exist.
     
  5. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    It's not that 50+ viewers don't buy things, they just aren't as affected by commercials. In short, it's your own fault. If you bought everything you saw advertized like us 20-somethings, the networks would kiss your asses like they do ours.
     
  6. Randy*S

    Randy*S Second Unit

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    That is exactly how I feel!
    And why do these program directors and studio execs market only to certain demographics?
    It seems to me that they could make more money if they market to EVERYONE!
    But no we get vin diesel movies and crappy rip-offs, oh sorry I mean "remakes". i.e. Charlie's Angels, Starsky & Hutch, Wild wild west etc.
    After all we are the ones who grew up watching these shows should'nt they at least consider marketing to us too?
    I feel so left out these days and I'm only 37.
    Just because they show t&a and say "the 7 little words you USE to not be able to say on tv." does'nt make it a adult show. The only channels I even watch now are tvland, boomerang and maybe sci-fi, at least I can watch them while I eat dinner!
    Sorry for all the ranting but I feel like I'm getting more like Archie Bunker/Fred Sanford every day. [​IMG]
    Even they had values and value.
     
  7. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    Add TCM for me


    Lets see, I never buy anything based on commercials, never did and I am 25. Commercials don't rule me, it is the products I was brought up on to like, generally what I pick at the store. I never see an RC commercial nor do I see one for FrankenBerry but I buy these over other advertised products.

    As for keeping good programs, I think most younger people would agree that the good ones get cancelled and the bad ones last. I do not think age range of target demographics is to blame for this but rather an ignorant idiotic tendancy amongst network executives and the false lies of the Nielsen Family ratings.

    Now younger and older audiences may argue on what is actually good but the appealing ones to both age ranges, rather they are opposites or like parties, get killed.
     
  8. Justin1

    Justin1 Stunt Coordinator

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    Advertisers want younger viewers for only one reason: disposable income. All studies indicate that consumers in the age group of 18-35 have the most disposable income. The key word is "disposable". Most middle-aged individuals make more money, but kids, homes, land (other property), cars, retirement funds, and other such items make it difficult for them to spend any extra income. Younger viewers typically rent, have little to no debt (or haven't started paying on their school loans), and have no dependants.

    Typically, middle-aged consumers do far more homework before making a major purchase and typically do not waste any extra income. That being said certain advertisements can have a far greater effect on younger viewers with open wallets.

    Whoever designs programming that attracts younger viewers will attract advertisers. And as everyone knows, advertising pays much of the bills for programmers.
     
  9. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    As well as being dependent on advertising aimed at the gullible (being young helps, fools and their money are soon parted, and all that jazz), many of these organizations are actually masterminded and run by young barbarians.

    It's called a vicious circle.
     
  10. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Screenwriter

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    I still don't understand their way of thinking. I doubt that most people who grew up watching Charlie's Angels or Starsky and Hutch really give a rat's butt about the new movie versions. We just want the classic out on DVD. If studios think that by waiting for these movies to come out before releasing the DVD of the TV version will lure the oldtimers to the movies to watch the new versions, they are in for a sad awakening. Most of us older folks just want the classics, heck we don't even go out to the movies much anymore, since most of us are sick of bad plots that rely on computer effects that got old 10 yrs ago with Jurassic Park...Just give us our damned classic TV shows! Remember, the longer they wait to release these shows, the less people will be around to buy them...Time is wasting, and we're not getting any younger...When we're gone who do you think will want to buy DVDs of shows they've never even seen?..... Exactly.
     
  11. Lynda-Marie

    Lynda-Marie Supporting Actor

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    You would think, considering some of the demographics out about the population percentages that advertisers, TV and movie producers and manufacturers WOULD try to cater to the "older" crowd, especially since the "older" crowd includes the largest group in the US, the Baby Boomers. Most of what they get are the Depends and viagra commercials.

    There might be more to it, though, than just the 18-34 group having more disposable income. Perhaps many of the advertisers or whatever have an age phobia. They just don't want to think about getting old, and later, death.

    The whole "disposable" income part is strange, too. I am 38, and yet, I have never had much "disposable" income. I have become an expert bargain hunter and bill juggler. Most of my friends are in this same boat, and their younger 20 something siblings are as well.

    Sometimes, it IS nostalgia that will draw me to buy some TV series or other on DVD. It certainly does not get me to the box office for the movie versions of classic TV shows. Most of the time, I wonder what the casting director was smoking when s/he cast someone for the role of a classic show turned movie.

    The only movie-TV translation I know of, where I liked both the main characters in the movie, and then on TV was the Odd Couple. Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were HILARIOUS as Felix and Oscar. So were Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Um, it always has been considered "middle age." Also, I don't see how we are discussing TV on DVD here, so the thread's been moved.
     
  13. Lee Ford

    Lee Ford Agent

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    Just how long do you plan on living?
     
  14. Lee Ford

    Lee Ford Agent

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    Just how long do you plan on living?
     
  15. andrew markworthy

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    This is one of my specialist academic areas. How long have you got for the lecture?

    Okay, in brief:

    (1) Prejudices against older adults and aging are more deeply rooted than prejudices against race or gender. There are countless studies to back this up.

    (2) Not everyone is ageist (having irrational dislike of older adults/aging). However, those that are will, if they are healthy and not accident-prone, reach old age, and thus become what they despise. Small wonder that older adults with the strongest belief in stereotypes also have the lowest levels of personal self-esteem.

    (3) Companies have traditionally disliked the older part of the market for several reasons:

    (i) they have until relatively recently formed a minority group, so weren't thought worth targetting
    (ii) older adults, as has been noted, generally are more cautious about money. In part because of more commitments as has been noted, but also because their particular generation was brought up to be cautious about money (experience or after-effects of the Great Depression)
    (iii) younger adults should, if they had any brains, be saving more (e.g. a third of Brits under 35 have no pension plan whatsoever). However, they're dumb, and so more willing to live for today. Hence why advertisers settle on these suckers - they're an easy target. Older adults have more experience and so are less likely to be swayed by fashion, etc.
    (iv) precisely because advertisers have ignored them, older adults feel they're unfashionable, and so are less likely to be swayed by claims that something new must be bought in order to be fashionable.
    (v) older adults were often seen as being too impoverished to be worth targetting

    And so on.

    However, there are signs that things are changing. Not only are older adults increasing in numbers, but they're also getting richer. Plus, something we tend to forget is that there has been a strong attitudinal shift. Earlier generations of older adults were brought up in a societal structure where everyone knew their place. However, the next ten years will see the first members of the sixties counter-culture reaching retirement age. The idea of a placid largely silent group of older adults may be about to change in a radical way.

    Now advertisers and TV executives aren't all as dumb as you think. Eventually, things will change, and programming directed more towards older adults will start appearing. And no, it won't be endless programmes about curing rheumatism and dementia, either. Older folks aren't the insular bunch of prudes a lot of people suppose.
     
  16. andrew markworthy

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    This is one of my specialist academic areas. How long have you got for the lecture?

    Okay, in brief:

    (1) Prejudices against older adults and aging are more deeply rooted than prejudices against race or gender. There are countless studies to back this up.

    (2) Not everyone is ageist (having irrational dislike of older adults/aging). However, those that are will, if they are healthy and not accident-prone, reach old age, and thus become what they despise. Small wonder that older adults with the strongest belief in stereotypes also have the lowest levels of personal self-esteem.

    (3) Companies have traditionally disliked the older part of the market for several reasons:

    (i) they have until relatively recently formed a minority group, so weren't thought worth targetting
    (ii) older adults, as has been noted, generally are more cautious about money. In part because of more commitments as has been noted, but also because their particular generation was brought up to be cautious about money (experience or after-effects of the Great Depression)
    (iii) younger adults should, if they had any brains, be saving more (e.g. a third of Brits under 35 have no pension plan whatsoever). However, they're dumb, and so more willing to live for today. Hence why advertisers settle on these suckers - they're an easy target. Older adults have more experience and so are less likely to be swayed by fashion, etc.
    (iv) precisely because advertisers have ignored them, older adults feel they're unfashionable, and so are less likely to be swayed by claims that something new must be bought in order to be fashionable.
    (v) older adults were often seen as being too impoverished to be worth targetting

    And so on.

    However, there are signs that things are changing. Not only are older adults increasing in numbers, but they're also getting richer. Plus, something we tend to forget is that there has been a strong attitudinal shift. Earlier generations of older adults were brought up in a societal structure where everyone knew their place. However, the next ten years will see the first members of the sixties counter-culture reaching retirement age. The idea of a placid largely silent group of older adults may be about to change in a radical way.

    Now advertisers and TV executives aren't all as dumb as you think. Eventually, things will change, and programming directed more towards older adults will start appearing. And no, it won't be endless programmes about curing rheumatism and dementia, either. Older folks aren't the insular bunch of prudes a lot of people suppose.
     
  17. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Andrew, I guess that helps explain all the ads for Viagra, Levitra, etc I'm seeing.

    [​IMG]

    One of my most despised ads currently being run here features a middle aged dork driving a Camry with his Avril-Lavigne looking daughter in the front seat. She has just put in a cd, turned it up, and Mr Dork reaches for the control, and she thinks he's going to turn it down.

    But Mr Dork is so cool, he cranks it up, all the hapless pedestrians they pass look in awe and wonder at the Camry that's quaking the neighbourhood, and Mr Dork looks so smarmy, and has gained the respect of youngster.

    "We're All Stupid Now"?
     
  18. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Andrew, I guess that helps explain all the ads for Viagra, Levitra, etc I'm seeing.

    [​IMG]

    One of my most despised ads currently being run here features a middle aged dork driving a Camry with his Avril-Lavigne looking daughter in the front seat. She has just put in a cd, turned it up, and Mr Dork reaches for the control, and she thinks he's going to turn it down.

    But Mr Dork is so cool, he cranks it up, all the hapless pedestrians they pass look in awe and wonder at the Camry that's quaking the neighbourhood, and Mr Dork looks so smarmy, and has gained the respect of youngster.

    "We're All Stupid Now"?
     
  19. andrew markworthy

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    Actually, they're rather more directed towards middle-aged and younger men. Sorry to destroy the stereotype, but waning sexual interest usually occurs before old age if it's going to occur.
     
  20. andrew markworthy

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    Actually, they're rather more directed towards middle-aged and younger men. Sorry to destroy the stereotype, but waning sexual interest usually occurs before old age if it's going to occur.
     

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