People hate thinking about death and dying, they fear the inevitable. The less money they have or the harder the times get they seek ways of comforting themselves.
Example: During the recession cosmetic sales skyrocketed while life insurance plummeted. What that says is that people are having it hard enough without having to deal with something as serious as Life Insurance. They are always looking for self or instant gratification as No Mac Salad said.
Cable TV puts them in the category in which the women who bought cosmetics are. "Something to make them feel better about life".