In the television business, it is all about ratings, or how many people are watching a show. So who watches what?
According to months of data from leading media-research company Experian Simmons, viewers who vote Republican and identify themselves as conservative are more likely than Democrats to love the biggest hits on TV. Of the top 10 broadcast shows on TV in the spring, nine were ranked more favorably by viewers who identify themselves as Republican.
Liberals appreciate many of the same shows, mind you. But their devotion typically is not quite as strong as right-wingers, and Dems are more likely to prefer modestly rated titles.
Like Mad Men.
To Hollywood, the data suggest a potentially disquieting idea: The TV industry is populated by liberals, but big-league success may require pleasing conservatives.
Then there is this little tid bit.
We?ve learned Republicans like winners. The shows might be considered fluffy, but they?re generally programs that make people feel good. If you?re a broadcast network executive weighing whether to buy a show, you might ask your uncle who voted twice for George W. Bush if he likes the idea. We?ve learned Democrats are, depending on your perspective, discriminating viewers who prefer highly original, well-written series or are cynics who enjoy watching jerks. We?ve learned Sarah Palin?s Alaska has the ingredients to be a hit, and one shouldn?t confuse TLC for being Republican just because its friends are.
Hedging your bets on what show is going to take off and which one is going to flop can be tricky at best. In a year that the nation is leaning to the right, go with the sure thing.