Monday, May 17, 2010

TV Habits

Every once in a while, I get an email from Harris Poll Online. I used to take their surveys all the time; now, not so much. But for some reason, I decided to take today’s survey, regarding television viewing. Perhaps it’s because I care about the kind of entertainment that is available to me. Perhaps it’s more for my kids. Whatever the case, I decided to participate, and the brevity of the poll made it likely that I will do so again.

What I really want to talk about, though, is what happened at the end: they offered me the opportunity to see “selected results” of the poll. What amazed me most were the results to Percent Indicating Types of Television Shows Watched.

Now, personally, I hate reality shows. But the way things are hyped, I would have thought that they’d the #1 type of show watched. Thus, I was quite surprised when they came in seventh place, with a mere 27.9% of respondents. I also don’t get into sports, but I figured that might take the top spot. Again, I was surprised. Can you guess what the #1 type of show watched was? Go on. Guess.


Sitcoms? Seriously? I would have thought the age of the sitcom ended about twenty years ago, when Family Ties was off the air and The Cosby Show was on its last legs. I mean, sure, they do still exist, but the only one I actually watch is The Big Bang Theory, and it’s gotten so raunchy that I’m even thinking of bailing on that!

Here’s another surprise: the #2 spot was news! I didn’t think anybody still watched TV news programs! I certainly can’t remember the last time I did, and it’s not because I’m completely apathetic; I just get all my news from the web, and I would have thought that most other people would, too.

Another shocker: the #4 spot was sci-fi. Now, don’t get me wrong; I love sci-fi, although I must admit I don’t get into the stuff that seems to garner the big ratings. I’ve never seen an entire episode of Star Wars or any of the Star Trek series; I’ve never watched Babylon 5 or V or any of the Stargate franchise. But I love Lost; I love Doctor Who; I even love Quantum Leap and any of a number of other sci-fi shows and movies. I just didn’t think that many other people did! Interesting stuff.

Anyway, here’s the complete results, as of this morning at about 8:45:

Sitcoms 58.20%
News 57.10%
Professional Sports 52.60%
Science Fiction 48.90%
Sports Shows 32.90%
Other 28.60%
Reality Shows 27.90%
Cartoons 27.20%
Home Shows 25.10%
Travel 24.90%
Game Shows 20.20%
Talk Shows 15.80%
Business/Finance 11.80%
Music Videos 9.80%
Soap Operas 3.90%
I don’t watch TV 2.30%

So how about you? Does this surprise you as much as it does me?