A new study has found some interesting TV viewing habits among those with certain political persuasions. In particular, the study finds that Republicans prefer TV shows with traditional American values as well as competitive reality shows, while Democrats prefer shows with characters with questionable ethics and low moral fiber.
The study by media research company Experian Simmons asked TV viewers who identify themselves as Republican or Democrat to give a favorability rating to a variety of programs. Republicans tended to like shows in which good battles evil, including “V,” “NCIS,” and “The Mentalist.” They also gave high ratings to competition-based reality shows like “The Amazing Race,” “American Idol,” and “Survivor.” Democrats tended to favor shows with irredeemable characters like the serial killer Dexter, the scheming attorneys of “Damages,” spoiled reality TV brats Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, the meth dealers of “Breaking Bad,” and Keith Olbermann.
Political shows were the highest rated among viewers of both parties. Glenn Beck’s Fox News program was rated most favorable by Republicans, while Democrats favored “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”
Of particular interest to TV executives is that television shows favored by Republicans were among the most watched among all Americans, while TV shows favored by Democrats tended to get low ratings. Nine of the top ten Nielsen rated TV shows were more favored by Republicans over Democrats.
Authors of the study admit the study does propose an interesting theory: for a TV show to be successful, it should appeal to Republicans.