updated 02:40 pm EDT, Mon March 19, 2007
Nielsen on the state of TV
A new study by the famous Nielsen Media Research reveals noticeable evolution in the American television landscape. The average home received 104.2 channels in 2006, the first year that the average broke the symbolic 100-channel barrier; this is despite long-standing promises of a 500-channel universe. Disappointing to corporations may be the fact that while the average number of channels tuned rose to 15.7 from 15.4, the number of channels actually watched has continued to drop, falling from 16 to 15.1. This trend has been continuous since at least 1995, when the average number of channels received was limited to 41.1.
The lineups of the broadcast networks (ABC, Fox, et al.) have mutated as well. The most dramatic shift has been in the number of sitcoms, which sank from 35 in 2005 to 28 last year. Drama shows increased their domninance by four to sit at 67, while variety shows slipped by two to 13. Nielsen also notes that there are no longer any suspense or mystery programs on the major networks.