I’ve never been asked to be one of those TV viewers whose preferences are magnified to represent a section of the viewing public. Well, about 30 years ago, I did watch my mom fill in the TV-watching diary she was sent (which diary was fairy easy to keep when we had no remote control and thus kept watching the same channel unless some human was motivated enough to walk across the room to change it).
But I’ve watched a heck of a lot of TV since then and I’d really like to be able to report it to somebody so I don’t have to keep remembering it all.
What follows are my family’s TV viewing for Tuesday, 10 February 2015. Programmers and advertisers, make use of this what you will.
6:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. How It’s Made rerun, Science channel. This show earned a 100/100 (rating points within my household/share of household TVs currently on that were tuned to this show).
6:30 p.m. How It’s Made rerun, Science channel. I think I stopped watching how steel wool gets made, or maybe it was after watching how the stove got put together.
6:45 to 7:00 p.m. The data gets a little hazy here, as the data storage was fallibly human.
7:00 to 7:35 p.m. On VH1, watched a rerun of Saturday Night Live from 1986 (Season 12, Episode 08), with host William Shatner. I also got out my smartphone to see if Season 12 cast member Nora Dunn was still alive and acting. According to Wikipedia, she is.
7:35 to 7:50 p.m. Got bored with 29-year-old SNL rerun, and started noticing on some news sites both that Jon Stewart had some funny comments about the Brian Williams anecdote-fiasco and also I read that Stewart announced today he’s quitting as host of The Daily Show, and so I watched last night’s The Daily Show via on-demand feature from my cable company. (Also, my wife came home from work about this time and watched this with me, so the viewing audience for The Daily Show in my household doubled over the size of the audience watching old SNL rerun.) We fast-forwarded through commercials and stopped watching before the interview segment.
7:50 to 8:00 p.m. I think I was checking Slate.com on my smartphone during this time.
8:00 to 8:30 p.m. Watched new (I think) episode of our local FOX station’s broadcast of New Girl, where Nick Miller hosts a bar crawl and loses his shoes after throwing them at a squirrel, he thinks.
After 8:30, realized that I’m old and tired and wanted to blog more than I wanted to watch anything else on the telly.
So, here it is: raw data of a very particular, highly unrepresentative viewer’s habits.
I have heard that those diaries were have more of an influence than the actually boxes… so your mother may have shaped the path of television significantly… or at lease how much some guy paid for a commercial.