Thursday, October 30, 2014
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

 
Home: Some things never change

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

Victim of Tuesday traffic incident dies

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 4 Comments

 
Holiday boutique set for weekend

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Live Your Dream award applications due Nov. 15

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
 
Transportation Info Depot opens Monday in Suisun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Salvation Army set to host Kroc Fest

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
 
Deadline looms for vote-by-mail ballots

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Suisun City police log: Oct. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

California orders risk-based Ebola quarantine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
Pentagon orders 21-day Ebola quarantine for troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
US health care unprepared for Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Suge Knight, Katt Williams charged with robbery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Military jet crashes in California, killing pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Army blows up houses, Egyptians evacuate near Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Peshmerga troops cheered by fellow Kurds in Turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

New York, New Jersey look back 2 years after Sandy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Russian rocket engines suspected in launch blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Al-Qaida: IS should rejoin group and fight West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Bill Clinton says voting is cure for polarization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Lava 100 feet from Hawaii home, nearing main road

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Man decapitates mother, is killed by train

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Opinion

We’ve got to stop meeting like this

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

 
Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Davenport, Pal, Spering best choices for vote

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Measure A helps students

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

Jane Day for council: She cares

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Do you trust Spering?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Support for Spering, Moy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Measure A a simple choice

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

Mraz is desperate

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 4 Comments

 
Supports Timm for Fairfield council

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Measure A a wise investment

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Spering record not set straight

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
In support of Brian Thiemer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Debate was eye-opening

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Vote for Catherine Moy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Tonnesen right choice for City Council

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Vote for Tonnesen

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Learn to say no

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Support for Bertani

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

Proposition 47 fails to advance state

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Mraz not best officer for council post

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Moy is the leader we need

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Vote for Moy; Vote for Fairfield

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Time for something new: Integrity

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Oct. 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A10

 
My sister won’t talk to any of us, I’m worried about my nephew

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A10

.

Entertainment

Taylor Swift talks books and music with kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
‘House of Cards’ actress Norment dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Orson Welles’ last film may finally be released

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Sports

Bumgarner, Giants beat KC 3-2 in Series Game 7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Selig’s imprint seen in Game 7 of World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants fans revel in victory

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Giants ace Bumgarner wins World Series MVP

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Royals’ dream season falls short in World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Bumgarner, Giants beat KC to win World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

Warriors whip Kings 95-77 in season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jose Canseco resting at home after shooting hand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sacramento breaks ground on new Kings arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

It’s Thursday Night Lights for SCAC

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B2

 
49ers rookie center Marcus Martin to make NFL debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford men looking to build on NCAA tournament run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Carr prepares for tough test vs. Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Vanden’s McDaniel repeats as SCAC singles champion

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Fed ends bond buying and cites brighter job market

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Gov’t pushes air bag maker on replacement parts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Obituaries

Hardie Lee Doshier

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Howard Lenowsky

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Robert Louis Wright

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10