Dispatches From The Couch

Hey, advertising execs. Over here. On the couch. I know you’re pretending not to see me, because I’m… well, let’s just say I’m outside of your precious 18-34 year-old demo and leave it at that, shall we?

But here’s the thing. Did you see that new report that came out this week? The one from Nielsen saying that those 12-34 are watching less television than ever even as folks 35 and up are watching more?

I can’t help wondering if you’re starting to regret that whole “let’s declare young people the rulers of the TV landscape and cater only to them” decision y’all made a while back. You know, the one that made total household number basically irrelevant when weighed against the AID (or all-important demographic).

And while I’ve got your attention, I’ve got another question for you. Now, I don’t wanna imply that you folks don’t know how to do your jobs, but… um, maybe I do. Because somehow, you’ve been duped into letting networks set their advertising rates based on what airs during sweeps. You know, February, May and November… the three months when they pump as much original programming onto the airwaves as possible. Wouldn’t it make more sense for you to do the equivalent of random drug testing? Pick a period, without the networks knowing when it will be, and set advertising rates based on the resulting ratings.

I’m betting that if you look at number from January or February, aka The Dead Zone in terms of original programming, they’re gonna be a lot different than those of November, when every character on television seems to have a baby, get married or plow their car into someone else’s just before the screen fades to black.

You’re the advertisers! You’re the money men! You’ve got all the power! And yet, for a long time now, you’ve let the networks treat you like the kid who always gets picked last for baseball in gym class.

But hey, feel free to keep making programming for the kids who aren’t watching and letting the networks push you around. I’ll still be in your corner.

Or, more precisely, sitting here. On the couch, watching TV.

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