Mark Dolliver: Why Do People Keep Watching?

Discussion of TV networks’ woes tends to focus on technology. But the content of shows is a big problem, too, judging by the sourpuss responses to an Associated Press/ AOL/Ipsos Public Affairs poll. The numbers in the chart here are bad enough. Still more damning are the responses when people were asked whether they think there’s too much, not enough or the right amount of programming in various genres. The “too much” vote was highest for reality (71 percent), crime (49 percent) and talk shows (49 percent), topping the “not enough” vote by an average ratio of 7-to-1. “Not enough” beat “too much” for just two genres: drama (28 percent vs. 19 percent) and news (28 percent vs. 18 percent).