New season underscores greying of broadcast TV


USA TodayNBC’s Ironside, the redux of the ‘60 series about a top detective in a wheelchair, is not just TV’s oldest drama. It also has the oldest audience among fall’s new crop of shows. According to a USA Today story, Nielsen data for the first four weeks of the season show that viewers of the series, which stars Blair Underwood, have a median age of nearly 59 years, meaning half of its 6 million viewers are younger and half are older than that threshold. CBS’ Hostages is next, with a median age of 56.3, followed by The Crazy Ones, the hit sitcom starring 62-year-old Robin Williams. On the youngest end of the big-network spectrum are Brooklyn Nine-Nine (median age: 41.4) and Dads (44.5), both from the perennially more youthful Fox network, followed by ABC’s new Marvel series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The youngest-skewing shows are in Fox’s Sunday animation block, which includes The Simpsons and Family Guy.

Meanwhile, younger demos are gravitating to cable. For example, AMC’s smash hit The Walking Dead has a median age of just 32.3, younger than all but one big-network series, while viewers of FX’s American Horror Story: Coven have a median age of 35.3.

Here’s a look at new shows with the oldest median ages on the major TV networks, Sept. 23-Oct. 20:

1. Ironside (NBC): 58.9

2. Hostages (CBS) 56.3

3. The Crazy Ones (CBS) 55.4

4. The Millers (CBS) 54.8

5. Betrayal (ABC) 54.7

New shows with the youngest median ages:

1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox) 41.4

2. Dads (Fox) 44.5

3. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) 46.4

4. Super Fun Night (ABC) 47.4

5. Sleepy Hollow (Fox) 48.1

See the USA Today story here