Politicians are always looking for ways to unite our perpetually divided country, failing time and again. Perhaps, instead of offering empty policy promises or calls for civility, they should be looking to the television. A new report from the Norman Lear Center and the futurePerfect Lab tracks the TV preferences of viewers from all over the ideological spectrum in an attempt to determine who is watching what and what shows may have bipartisan appeal. The results of the study are surprising, enlightening, and generally bad news for the cast of Pawn Stars, who it appears everyone fucking hates.
Participants were divided into three ideological groups: Blues (left-leaning), Reds (right-leaning), and Purples (the more centrist swing voters). Researches then presented these participants with a list of 50 shows and asked which ones they were watching and how much they enjoyed watching them. What they found was that shows like Saturday Night Live, Modern Family, and South Park are primarily enjoyed by Blues whereas Reds tend to prefer America’s Funniest Home Videos and Deadliest Catch.
The most surprising results have to do with shows that had an equal viewership across all three ideological groups, which included things like Bones, MythBusters, and Criminal Minds. Pawn Stars also ranked highly in terms of viewership, but researchers determined that everyone was just hate-watching it. It should be noted that none of the participants outright love these bipartisan shows, they just seem to be bland or inoffensive enough to be watched by most people. On the other hand, the cultural juggernaut that is Game Of Thrones got high ratings from everyone who admitted to watching it, but only 16% of Red viewers copped to their love of horny dragons.
The full study is available to read here, though we’d recommend not digging too deep on the “Network & News Preferences” section unless you want your head to explode. Also, we desperately need a follow-up report analyzing the Purple viewers who “ranked The Tom and Jerry Show among shows they watched often enough to have an opinion about.”
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