Drama Leading Prime Time Genre

September 27, 2010

General drama was the most popular US prime time TV genre by a wide margin in the 2009-2010 programming season, according to analysis from The Nielsen Company.

Drama Beats Reality
Looking at prime time US viewership for ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC between September 2009 and May 2010, Nielsen data indicates general drama shows captured 41% audience share, up slightly from 40% the previous season.


General and participation variety (reality) shows lagged with a 24% audience share, up 14% from 21% during the 2009-2010 season. Sports shows jumped from 8% to 12% share, an impressive 50% growth rate that led all genres, in the same time period.

Conversely, the eighth-ranked feature film genre reported the highest rate of audience share loss, dropping about 67% from 6% to 2%.

Largest Share of Households Owns 4 or More TVs
When US TV households are divided by number of TVs owned, the largest share (31%) owns four or more. The next-most-popular number of TVs to own is two, with 28% of TV households reporting having this number. Only 16% of US TV households have a single TV at home.


There are 115.9 million homes in the US with at least one TV, up slightly less than 1% from 114.9 million in 2009.

Average American Watches 35 Hours of Weekly TV
The average American watches 35:34 (hours/minutes) of TV per week, while kids aged 2-11 watch 25:48 (hours/minutes) of live TV per week. Adults older than 65 watch 48:54 (hours/minutes) of TV per week.

DVR, HDTV Ownership Grows
As of July 2010, more than one-third (37.3%) of US TV households owned a DVR device and more than half (54.2%) owned an HDTV.


TVs Drop in Importance
Consumers are increasingly less likely to consider TV sets as necessities, according to new data from the Pew Social & Demographic Trends Center. Just 42% of Americans say they consider the TV set to be a necessity in 2010. By comparison, this figure was 52% in 2009 and in 2006, it was 64%.


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