TV is Nearly 60 yrs Old and So Is Its Median Audience
Television, in the manner that we now know, did not really occur until 1950. That is when the first real TV shows were broadcasted in black and white to millions of TV antennas, perched atop roof tops. There was no cable until mid-60s. TV Guide also appeared then, but shows were few. However, by 1955, the three main networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, had their TV show lineups and it has remained pretty much like it since. Color TV and broadcasts did not happen on a regular basis until 1966, due to expense. Few Americans even owned a color TV then.
Of course, the "baby boomer" generation, those born between 1947-1962, grew up with the technology. There was always a TV in the house. The Radio was for a previous generation. TV was the Baby Boomers. It was the young demographics that many shows were made for, kids from 6-12 yrs old but also enjoyed by "old folks", like Father Knows Best, Leave It to Beaver, Dennis the Menace, Micky Mouse Club, Donna Reed Show, Ozzie and Harriet. TV has always targeted youth, however, things are changing.
A majority of the Boomers reached young adulthood in the 60's and 70's. Ad agencies devoted their attention on them, the generation of rock music, anti-war, drugs, long hair. That was their norm. Many did not do drugs but simply accepted what their generation gave them, whether they agreed or not with it.
There are 80 million baby boomers, all have a strong attachment to their tech gaget called TV. They all grew up with it like a brother\sister or babysitter. As they became adults, the torch was passed to another generation, then another, then another. The oldest of this group are just turning 65 yrs. As a group, they watch TV a lot and control half of the consumer spending in the US. That is a lot of spending power. Advertisers are paying attention. TV show producers are paying attention to TV show viewer demographics. Check this out:
American Idol- half of all viewers are 44 yrs old. NCIS- half are 57 yrs old., CSI- half are 49 yrs. old, Friends- half are 38 yrs. old, E.R. - half are 38 yrs. old. and so on. See a pattern?
To target the group, more TV shows have older characters because as TV audiences get older, so do characters. It is all about advertising money and association. Boomers watch 6-7 hours daily. Advertising costs vary with the TV show and how many Boomers watch it. Ad space for, The Good Wife, run $108,000 for 30 sec. The same ad during American Idol is $435,000. Many networks are also retooling shows the "boomers" know by name, coming this Fall is Charlie's Angels. Hawaii-Five-O has already been done. Years ago, The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, were brought back.
Advertisers know that appealing to the under 30 yr.old group for new products is generally the rule of thumb, however, the boomers spend 1.5 trillion dollars on just about anything. As a group, most are very tech savvy, they are a group that refuse to appear old because in their 20s, they were the "Now Generation", the "In Generation", they coined the phrase, "don't trust anyone over 30".
The hardest thing in life is getting older and old. The Boomers simply refuse to believe it, despite their image in the mirror. It is their mantra. That is really far out and bitchin!