Monday, March 30, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Cultural changes in attitude toward TV

TV-Loving Television

In this image released by PBS, Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess Grantham, is shown in a scene from the second season on "Downton Abbey." (AP Photo/PBS, Carnival Film & Television Limited 2011 for MASTERPIECE, Nick Briggs)

By
From page B6 | August 11, 2014 |

NEW YORK — Manjula Stokes has twice sworn off television, once throwing a set off her deck in a fit over an ex-husband’s sports obsession. Now she’s a devotee of programs like “Downton Abbey,” ”Mad Men,” ”Survivor” and “Masters of Sex.”

The teacher from Santa Cruz illustrates a subtle change in society’s attitude toward television. The medium is growing in stature, propelled by both art and technology. More worthy programs are available at a time when viewers are becoming more comfortable setting up their own schedules to watch.

“I feel it’s more like reading a good book,” Stokes said. “The acting is better, the direction is better. I think it’s more serious as an art form.”

A CBS survey of 700 people in the U.S. with Internet and television connections last year found that 28 percent said they’re watching more television than they did a year ago. Seventeen percent say they’re watching less, with the remainder indicating their habits are unchanged.

That may not seem like much, but there’s a long history of people saying they are watching, or plan to watch, less TV – even as Nielsen measurements proved the opposite is true.

In other words, liking television is becoming more socially acceptable.

“You can go to a sophisticated party in New York City now and people will be talking about television programming, not the latest art film or the latest play,” said David Poltrack, CBS’ veteran chief researcher. “You can go to a bar in a lower socio-economic neighborhood and they’ll be talking about television. They may be talking about different programs, but they’ll be talking about television.”

Now, for every award-winning drama there’s a series about botched plastic surgeries, naked dating or Kardashians. More than one, truthfully. But the push among cable networks during the past decade to make their own original series has significantly increased the amount of quality programs.

For years, polls uncovered a certain shameful attitude toward watching television.

When asked in 2000 how much time they spent watching TV the previous day, 84 percent of respondents told the Pew Research Center it was less than four hours. That didn’t jibe with the Nielsen company’s finding that the average American that year watched four hours, 15 minutes of television a day.

A Gallup poll in 1990 found 49 percent of people said they spent too much time watching television. Only 19 percent said they watched too little. Nine years ago when CBS began its annual survey, more people said they were cutting back on TV time.

This year, Nielsen estimates the average American watches four hours, 50 minutes of TV a day.

“I think the quality is better,” said Yael Chanoff, a 25-year-old writer from San Francisco. She’s a fan of smart comedies like NBC’s “Parks & Recreation.” Many older shows Chanoff has seen, even hits like “Friends,” strike her as cliché-ridden.

Some better shows now have an attention to detail that reminds Stokes, who is 59, of work done by the MGM movie studio during the last century.

Cory Phare, a 33-year-old academic conference director from Denver, said he grew up watching a lot of television but drifted away. The ability to binge on well-written dramas like “Breaking Bad,” ”The Americans” and “Dexter” through Netflix drew him back in. He just finished going back to watch the entire run of “The West Wing.”

“Even when I’m on a lunch break, I pull it up on my smartphone,” he said.

That’s another key to television’s resurgence. Viewers no longer depend on prime-time schedules set up in Hollywood boardrooms; they don’t even have to depend on television. Stokes, Chanoff and Phare all consider themselves fans of modern-day TV, and none of them have cable or satellite subscriptions.

“My friends all watch it on computer,” Chanoff said. She finds a friend with cable to watch “Parks & Recreation,” the only show she cares to watch live.

Television continues on firm footing financially, despite the rise of digital video outlets like Netflix and YouTube. The research firm eMarketer Inc. predicted TV ad spending will hit $78.6 billion in 2018, up from $66.4 billion last year.

Fears of so-called “cord-cutting,” where people drop their TV subscriptions and rely on online video services, was “surprisingly benign” in the second quarter, with just 305,000 households – less than one-tenth of a percent – quitting pay TV, according to financial advisory firm MoffettNathanson LLC.

The days of needing to choose between two good programs airing at the same time are now gone. The downside for networks is that it’s harder for less-established shows to catch on because some nights more people are watching DVR playbacks than any individual show on a network.

That’s a problem for another day. The first priority is getting people interested in what television has to offer.

“Really, television is now more than ever at the center of culture,” Poltrack said.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

2 drivers killed in same area, an hour apart

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
Easter activities, events abundant

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Christians begin Holy Week with Palm Sunday celebrations

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
My guide to dining out

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

Local governments post week’s meeting times

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Top young spellers to compete for Solano title

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

Police investigate shooting off North Texas Street

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo police seek leads in weekend homicide

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Biz Buzz: Re/Max hires new Realtor

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Biz Buzz: PAL receives donation from glass company

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Biz Buzz: Wiseman officer names Perez to key post

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Police ramp up rail-crossing citations after recent crashes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Analysis finds unequal pay for women on California Capitol

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Songwriter injured in California crash; motorcyclist killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Taylor Swift wins artist of the year at iHeartRadio Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Drownings along Rio Grande spike after enforcement surge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Grandma is a centerfold: Rest home bares all for calendar

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Police: 2 bodies found in NYC building explosion rubble

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Islamic State group beheads 8 Shiites in Syria’s Hama

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Waving fronds around the world, Christians mark Palm Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Air Canada plane makes hard landing short of Halifax runway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Small tsunami generated in Pacific after earthquake

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: March 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

 
Parenting: If a father is abusive, a mother must act

By The Washington Post | From Page: B8

 
Horoscopes: March 31, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B8

.

Entertainment

TVGrid March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

Michelle Obama declares ‘Black Girls Rock!’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

 
Spartans Final Four-bound after 76-70 OT win over Louisville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Duke back in Final Four after 66-52 win over Gonzaga

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Montoya holds off Power to give Penske 1-2 sweep at St. Pete

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford’s Randle chases school scoring record, title at NIT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hamlin wins for 25th time, and fifth time at Martinsville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hamlin wins for 25th time, and fifth time at Martinsville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jimmy Walker wins hometown Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Oakland OF Josh Reddick won’t be ready for start of season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
California Chrome heads to Britain, to race at Royal Ascot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vettel wins Malaysian GP to end Mercedes streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Joe Gibbs on son: most courageous person I’ve been around

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chodounsky defends slalom title at US Alpine Championships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
South Carolina earns 1st Final Four berth, beats FSU 80-74

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Turner says Saturday regional finals highest-rated in decade

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Apology for wrong anthem for El Salvador before game in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cain goes 4 innings in Giants win over LA

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Graveman pitches into 7th inning as A’s beat Brewers 7-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Robert Roberts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janice Jewel Thompson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Peanuts March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C. March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote March 30

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Frank and Ernest March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Blondie March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Peanuts March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Baldo March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Rose is Rose March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Beetle Bailey March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
For Better or Worse March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Dilbert March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Garfield March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Pickles March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Zits March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sally Forth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Get Fuzzy March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Wizard of Id March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Crossword March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Word Sleuth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Bridge March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Sudoku March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Cryptoquote March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8