Thursday, December 29, 2011

Partisanship Also Divides Viewing Audience

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 6:00 AM


Political partisanship has taken center stage in recent years, dividing countrymen in very ugly ways, but who knew that division reached all the way to the core of American society—television viewing.

According to a survey by Experian-Simmons and prepared for Entertainment Weekly, the viewing preferences of Republicans and Democrats can actually be measured. According to the results, posted at, “’sarcastic’ media-savvy comedies and morally murky antiheroes tend to draw Dems. While serious work-centered shows (both reality shows and stylized scripted procedurals), along with reality competitions, tend to draw conservatives.”

The report goes on to state that Dems love them some Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, as well as shows like 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Glee, Modern Family, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Treme, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and The Office, among others.

On the other side of the viewing aisle, Republicans like to watch Swamp Loggers, Top Shot, The Bachelor, Mythbusters, Swamp People, Pawn Stars, Biggest Loser, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Hawaii Five-O, Dancing with the Stars, Man vs. Wild and Wheel of Fortune, among others.

Shows that did well with both groups? Castle and (ironically) The Middle.

So, what to the parties hate to watch? Well, for Democrats, it appears reality TV is a big no-no. Among the least-favorite shows for self-identified Democrats are Swamp Loggers, Dog the Bounty Hunter, The Ultimate Fighter, Kitchen Nightmares, Operation Repo, Swamp People, Hardcore Pawn, Deadliest Catch, Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy, Billy the Exterminator, and anything dealing with ghosts, including Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and The Haunted.

Republicans switch the channel fastest for Weeds, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, South Park, General Hospital, Family Guy, Dexter, The Walking Dead, The Big C, Bridezillas and Jersey Shore (but you can’t really fault anyone for not wanting to watch those last two).


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