Can men save TV?

After seeing the astonishing success of 'The Walking Dead' and 'Breaking Bad,' network executives are targeting male viewers in hopes of prime-time success.

By Kim Peterson Sep 9, 2013 2:14PM
Image: Watching television (© Onoky/SuperStock)Men do watch television programs that don't involve sports. Who knew?

Men are, in fact, big fans of shows involving zombies and Albuquerque, N.M., meth kingpins. And that's giving new hope to network executives, who are rolling out a raft of new male-focused prime-time programming this fall.

This is a bit of a leap for the television industry, which knows that prime-time viewers are predominantly female, Advertising Age reports. So the networks are experimenting with a new "if you broadcast it, they will come" philosophy, giving the green light to such new programs as "Dads" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" from Fox and the not-too-subtle "We Are Men" from CBS (CBS).

Not to be outdone, ABC (DIS) is unveiling "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," while the CW has "Tomorrow People" and NBC (CMCSA) is banking on "The Blacklist."

It's an all-in bet for the networks, which lost 8% of their viewers last season, Ad Age reports.

ABC is so focused on its new target group that it will boot the "Dancing With the Stars" results show, which has an audience of about 70% women.

So will it work? Some experts are skeptical. Prime-time broadcasters can't get as racy as their cable counterparts, nor can they have as much coarse language or adult themes. Can you be edgy without alienating female or older viewers?

More on moneyNOW





25Comments
Sep 9, 2013 4:01PM
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Get a clue, broadcasting execs. It isn't the fare of the shows/programs. It's the relentless bombardment of advertisements coupled with sub-par offerings in programming... weak stories, weak characters and acting... All thrown in to five-minute-or-less segments as space-filler between commercials. People are damn tired of commercials/advertisement.
Sep 9, 2013 4:19PM
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I agree with "I want to be a clone", but want to add this: STOP WITH THE REALITY CRAP! It was fun for a while, but now it is just sad. If you want to reach the viewers that actually have good paying jobs & money to spend, you need to step up your game. If you only care about making shows that cost nothing to make, ie: Kardashians, Jersey Shore, etc., then you can continue reach only the kids. Then you can watch your ad rates drop right along with the ratings. Outside of a couple of shows, the only interesting thing on the networks anymore is sports.
Sep 9, 2013 4:08PM
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Put less reality TV on, better quality programs and less commercials maybe men watch more network TV.  Until then, not so much.
Sep 9, 2013 4:54PM
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I remember the days when TLC meant "The LEARNING Channel" not "The Loser Channel".
Sep 9, 2013 4:14PM
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 This is the best stock photo of a guy watching tv they could find? Really. After his girlfriend left him and the dog died Jeff started bonding with his only remaining friend.. the vacuum cleaner.
Sep 9, 2013 4:48PM
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First off , what type of "MEN" are you trying to attract , that might save television ? If you keep offering the inane , stupid sh-t that you've been offering , then that's the type of "MAN" you're going to get . I don't watch net work telly because it's stupid , and you have characters and plots , that are , at best foolish . All these "idol and reality programs are crap " . I watch them for a few minutes and shut them off .

 

Sep 9, 2013 4:17PM
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Shows don't need to be centered around women and minorities?  Really?
Sep 9, 2013 5:31PM
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Interesting research and development programs will stop the channel surfers.  Who cares about Idols and dancers.  I don't  How many more of us feel this way.
Sep 9, 2013 6:13PM
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TV programming has just =been the crapper in years = theres a new TV  on called ="ME TV" darn good old tV shows that  most all of us  older men grewup with!! greta shows & honestly wholesome & with Values -family values! Now!!=The tv executives keep putting womens programs on the tube & having news cast programs with 2 or more women BLABBING & Laughing over nothing=watch how many  customesr you loose ! We men are so tired of that type of garbage_its no wonder all we do is watch Football & drink beer! Get A CLUE??????????????????Change  the womens programs to something  thats good & not any Queer bate shows either!!
Sep 9, 2013 6:10PM
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I was just thinking about the NFL's choices for the Super Bowl halftime shows for the past 25 years -- as long as I can remember.  Essentially, they're all trying to appeal to women on an event that mostly men watch!

 

Why not have a band like Slayer?

Sep 9, 2013 8:41PM
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Wisecracking kids and wives putting down dim bulb dads/husbands has been standard TV comedy fare for the past couple of decades.

 

Not exactly the way to increase your male viewership.

 

 

Sep 9, 2013 5:57PM
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I agree with " I want to be a clone & tjmik4  I can't stand to watch t.v. any more I'am ready to cut the cable off theres no sense in me paying cable  companies to watch commercial , trying to watch the news in the morning its a commercial fest I watch six channels to trying  and avoid them and the stuiped programing !

                                         The end is near !

Sep 9, 2013 5:54PM
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no one can save TV its a wasteland.
Sep 9, 2013 6:40PM
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Why should men try to save television? Just let women do it. They think they know everything.
Sep 9, 2013 5:33PM
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I will vote for ANY politician of ANY party in ANY race, local or national, if they will make it a campaign PROMISE to do all they can do to stop the "ask your doctor" ads!!! No questions asked!  If they will promise this one thing, they have my vote!  My television is off right now and I persoanlly could do without it in the house.  I hardly watch it anymore due to the "ask your doctor" ads.  Those ads are working.  In my little town, there are at least three new "clinics' this summer and today I head there is another.  That is only the NEW ones!  A new hospital.  And, only about 80,000 people!  ANY candidate, ANY race, ANY party, you have my vote if you PROMISE to stop the "ask your doctor" ads! Syria killed 1400 with chemicals.  That is 1400 too many, but I think in the US, there are far more killed with legal chemicasl called "drugs."
Sep 9, 2013 4:41PM
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I will leave my TV on all evening, everyday if they promise to stop marketing the NFL to women.
Sep 9, 2013 6:02PM
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Nah, cable's already got all the man shows.
Sep 9, 2013 6:29PM
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I would hope real men wouldn't try to save TV.  I would be happy if it were shut down entirely.  I know it will not happen, but it would get rid of the "ask your doctor" ads!  I would imagine many of us have had family members and close friends killed by the wares of the legal drug lords and we didn't know it.  We hear of those who die due to illegal drugs but we seldom hear of anyone dying of legal drugs.  The side effects of many drugs are worse than the illness they are said to treat.  Though I am concerned about the chemical deaths in Syria, I am far more concerned about the chemical deaths in the US.
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