What Do Women Watch?

By Mark Preiser

Great article by Sam Thielman in the March 31 issue of Adweek re: what women watch on cable. Here are some stats that might surprise you:

  • More women ages 18 to 49 watch Sunday Night Football
    on NBC (3.5 million) than The Bachelorette (2.5 million).

  • Among young women (ages 12 to 34) last year, the only reality show in cable’s top 10 was Teen Mom 2, with 927,000 viewers. In the top 10 for women 18-49 and 25-54, there were zero reality shows.

  • Talking Dead, AMC’s talk show about The Walking Dead, is a top-10 cable series in all three major female demos (number 7 among women 12-34, and number 4 among both women 18-49 and women 25-54).

So what were the top 10 shows women 18-49 watched on cable in 2013?

1. American Horror Story

2. Sons of Anarchy

3. The Walking Dead

4. Talking Dead

5. Pretty Little Liars

6. Breaking Bad

7. Army Wives

8. Suits

9. Falling Skies

10. Royal Pains

This year in the all important 18-49 category the top shows so far are Coven, followed by The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy and Pretty Little Liars.

So what can we conclude about the general TV-viewing habits of men vs. women? Men are channel surfers and traditionally have fewer scheduled shows they watch than women do.  The obvious exception is sports, of course.  Research has shown that men perk up during the action portions of a show. We clearly are the simpler species.  Women perk up during the relationship portions of a show.   They clearly are the more sensitive and intelligent species.

OK, so this isn’t scientific, but in my experience, I can sit and watch a show with five guys and none of them will talk.  When I watch a show with five guys and five women, there are five people talking – unless you count the other five shushing the first group.  The need to be politically correct precludes my revealing which group contains the yappers vs. the watchers.  There was almost a murder committed during the last New York Giants Superbowl due to incessant chatter.  And once and for all. . . no, you can’t kick a touchdown!