Stupid America

Posted Nov 01, 2006 in Television.

I cannot understand why the American TV viewer prefers to watch mind-numbing shit all the time. Whenever I read reports of television ratings, I get terribly depressed. Quality programming like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is eschewed in favor of spoon-fed garbage by the American viewer. Dancing with the Stars, for example, gets three times as many viewers as Studio 60, and twice as many as other high-quality productions like Shark and Brothers & Sisters.

I like watching television, but it is getting increasingly difficult to find stuff to watch that isn't aimed at organisms with barely-functioning brains. When all the new shows started in August/September this year, I made a list of all the interesting things that were on that I would like to see. At the beginning of November, a quarter of these shows have already been given the chop.

Another thing that bugs me is the way ratings are calculated. Since many shows are on at the same time as each other, or are on too late in the evening, I like to use my DVR to record some of them to watch later. I'm sure many people do this, especially the more affluent viewer who can afford this sort of equipment - the kind of people advertisers like to get on board, I might add. Yet this viewer data is completely ignored in the ratings. Guys, this is 2006, the era of video-on-demand and internet broadcasting. Change the way you gather your ratings!


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    Television is seeing by many (a great majority?) as a form of entertainment. We can't control how people has chosen to use their entertainment time, cant we? See, for me, everything you listed here (the TV programs) are crap. They do not entertain nor educate me.

    I like the Travel Channel, the History Channel, PBS documentaries, etc. Notice I say I like, but I don't often see them. I barely see any TV at all, and when I do, it will most likely be Noggin, Cartoon Network, PBS Kids... while I share time with my kid.

    On the PVR usage and ratings, what makes you think it is being ignored on the ratings? I found some readings interesting, such as:


    And about how are TV ratings determined,

    I am almost sure that your complain applies, just about the same, to every other audience (other than American). Stupid World? :-)

    Posted by David Collantes on Nov 02, 2006.

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    ha ha

    i'm glad there was a 'tip' on TV otherwise i'd have been convinced you were having a pop at chickboys.


    Posted by Paul on Nov 02, 2006.

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    Since I moved into my own place I found that I barely watch TV. The only thing I would watch is the History Channel, A&E, SciFi or TLC. However, since I only have basic cable - I only have crap channels that include stupid cartoons (even though I enjoy Nickelodeons show, The Avatar), religious channels or government channels. Oh well, sadly cable isnt worth the high price since mostly crap is on.

    On a side note: if you would like to hear about my horrible job experience I will gladly email you as you might get a kick out of it.

    Posted by James Henry on Nov 02, 2006.

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    "See, for me, everything you listed here (the TV programs) are crap."

    I have a penchant for quality drama. Here's a sample of the sort of things I like to see, in no particular order:

    Six Degrees
    Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
    CSI Miami
    Battlestar Galactica
    Brothers & Sisters

    David noticed that the Gravatars aren't working very well. This appears to be a problem with the site, rather than anything I am doing.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Nov 03, 2006.

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    I generally watch the movie channels, the only shows I make a conserted effort to see are The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report and Prisonbreak on Fox. Love the Sopranos but am unfamilar with the rest on your list so I'll try and check them out. Isa Saalabi.

    Posted by Isa Saalabi on Nov 12, 2006.

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    Jean Holly Harnsongkram from Woodland Hills here. Isa Saalabi has it sussed when it comes to decent, intelligent TV comedy. Love Jon Stewart. Thought the series Rome was top stuff too. There is quality programming out there, just gotta dig a little deeper sometimes! Jean Holly Harnsongkram

    Posted by Jean Holly Harnsongkram on Nov 19, 2006.