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Ad Age Looks at Who's Watching What Where

Research Offers Peek at Which Shows Get the Most Love Around the Country

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It's not hard to guess which TV programs bring in the largest audiences. CBS's "NCIS" and "CSI" franchises have helped that network command the big numbers for a long time. But if you're going after a distinctive demographic niche, a smaller audience may be more attractive.

Working with Experian Simmons and the Patchwork Nation, we took data released last fall from a 25,000-household survey and analyzed the top first-run network shows that respondents said they had watched in the previous seven days. In some cases, the shows represent a cost-conscious way to target certain demographics. The more advertisers know about the particular qualities of an audience, the better choices they can make about which programs to support.

Urbanites -- who tend to be slightly younger and more affluent -- are 34% more likely than the overall population to watch "America's Next Top Model."

And while CBS's "Mike & Molly" competes well in its time slot in ratings for 18- to 49-year-olds, senior-heavy Emptying Nest communities and Midwestern and Northeastern Service Worker centers are at least 20% more likely to watch "Mike & Molly" than other groups.

If marketers targeting those viewers echo themes found in the show, it "will likely lead to higher engagement from this consumer segment," said John Fetto, senior marketing manager at Experian Simmons.

Top Network Shows by County Type

Source: Experian Simmons
TV Show:
County Type:
Most Popular