So you can read my books

Friday, September 12, 2014

SUCCESS KILLS ... if you're not young.

When a television show is consistently popular, its reward usually isn't getting canceled.

 Based on author Craig Johnson's mystery books about Walt Longmire, a Wyoming county sheriff whose laconic personality belies his razor-sharp detective skills, 

"Longmire" was A&E's second-most popular show behind the reality hit "Duck Dynasty," averaging 5.6 million viewers this season, according to Nielsen. 

That is better than critical darlings "Mad Men" on AMC and "Justified" on FX.

 Unfortunately for "Longmire," it has the wrong audience and the wrong owner. 

A&E said it pulled the plug on "Longmire" because it appeals primarily to older viewers: the median age of the show's viewers is 60 versus 48 for the network as a whole 

And it doesn't have an ownership stake in the show.

I think that last was the true reason.

How accurate are Nielson's ratings anymore in this digital age where shows can be seen on Amazon and a half-dozen other venues?

 "Longmire's" fate is reflective of two growing trends in the television industry:

the obsession of advertisers with younger viewers and the desire of TV networks to own as much of their content as possible. 

 Last year, A&E also canceled "The Glades," 

a quirky crime drama with solid ratings that also had an older audience and was produced by a unit of 21st Century Fox.

 Longmire was not a cynical show; it was designed for people who don't see their views and struggles represented.

So A&E is telling those nearing 50 and those over: 

you no longer count.  

It is an odd mind-set when Baby Boomers still have the most disposable income.  

Alas, those of you out there in your mid-forties, you are about to become disposable yourselves.



  1. The latter reason is why they cancelled. They're shopping it around and hopefully it finds another network. I really liked that show. Really liked The Glades as well.
    What the Network is forgetting is the age of the biggest generation out there - the boomers. And they do count for something.

  2. And, how anyone can watch reality shows is beyond me. People like laughing at other peoples goofs and mocking those they consider lesser than. After all, how much intellectual thought is required for that?

    A show which unravels a mystery or problem actually may require some thinking, an unacceptable requirement by a generation whose mantra is 'don't make me think'.

    Networks may go the way of department stores who began to cater to the trends, if they ignore a large portion of the viewing audience. The dumbing down of tv selections is one reason I watch little tv.

    Money is the game, not quality.

  3. I'll challenge anyone to identify a show with a stronger cast, not just among the present list...all time.

  4. Nothing in television makes sense anymore. Money drives the beast, and if they can squeeze more out of the younger generation they will.

  5. Alex:
    Wouldn't be great if NETFLIX picked it up? Advertisers are not an issue with them. You're right: greed motivated A&E. Sigh.

    I watch little TV myself for many of the reasons you stated. Greed motivates the networks, but it was short-sighted of them to kill their 2nd hightest rated show.

    R. Mac:
    It was a quality show through and through. Sad really. :-(

    I can understand smart greed but this was stupid greed which is doubly sad!!

  6. I've never understood this. If a show gets good ratings, what does it matter what the age demographic is?? Is it all about the advertisers?

  7. Keith:
    The age demographic is important for the "Face" a Network has for potential advertisers.

    But it was mostly about Longmire not being an In-House made program. The profits were not ALL there. Sad, right?

    Netflix who does not care about advertisers but could use 6 million new users might consider Longmire, but they now have only IN-House made programs themselves.

    Perhaps AMC or FX?

  8. I've read many articles that say everyone wants shows that appeal to "young" viewers because they are the desired demographic for spending money. They should want the real adults who actually have some money.