'Maury' Leads Syndication's Youth Movement'Excused,' 'Dish Nation,' 'TMZ' are also top choices for young viewers 11/12/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern
Say what you will about
NBCUniversal’s conflict talk
show, Maury—from its “shocking
secrets revealed!” to its “out-of-control
teenagers”—but it’s currently first-run syndication's youngest-skewing
talk show at a median age of 48.5, according
to Nielsen Media Research;
it’s also often the first-run talk leader
among young women.
And all that doesn’t happen by accident—
especially when your host,
Maury Povich, is 73. “I find that younger
viewers have a shorter attention span,”
says Paul Faulhaber, executive producer
of Maury as well as NBCU’s newest talker,
Trisha. “So what we like to do is produce
mini-soap operas that you can get into really fast and really deeply.
Younger viewers get bored quickly, and they don’t like to be bored.”
Some advertisers might shun Maury and its siblings—Jerry Springer,
Steve Wilkos and Trisha, starring British tabloid talker Trisha Goddard—
due to the shows’ content. But others—especially direct-response advertisers—
embrace the genre.
“There are all different types of marketers out there,” says one syndication
insider. “Some of these shows not only skew younger, but they
can also be lower-priced. A lot of advertisers are just looking to buy
based on price, and that helps them.”
In fact, all of syndication’s so-called conflict talk shows skew young,
with Wilkos averaging a median age of 49.4, Debmar-Mercury’s Jeremy
Kyle a 49.9, Springer a 50.4 and Trisha a 51.4.
First-run syndication’s youngest-skewing shows also are some of its
newest, with CBS Television Distribution’s sophomore dating show,
Excused, coming in youngest at 38.9, almost four years younger than
its nearest competitor, Twentieth’s rookie radio half-hour, Dish Nation,
at 43.7. Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which TV stations often pair with Dish
Nation, is third at 46.1.
What all those shows have in common
is a sense of authenticity. People say
what they think (whether it gets bleeped
or not), and there’s not a lot of spit and
polish to the programs.
“We’re certainly not MTV—we’re not
so hip—but we’re funny and relevant,”
says Stephen Brown, Twentieth executive
VP of programming, speaking to
Dish Nation’s blend of rapid-fire radio
talk, pop culture and comedy. “Having
younger viewers ultimately ensures a
longer life, and we want this show to be
around for a long time.”
Among the non-conflict talk shows,
Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams is
the youngest at 49.2, while CTD’s talk leader Dr. Phil trends older at
58.9, just a tad older than Disney-ABC’s Live! With Kelly and Michael
at 58.7. Disney-ABC’s rookie Katie skews oldest of any talker, at 60.7.
That puts Katie in league with some of syndication’s oldest-skewing
shows: CTD’s Judge Judy at a median age of 60.4 and Disney-ABC’s Who
Wants to Be a Millionaire at 61.4. CTD’s Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune,
two of syndication’s highest-rated shows in households, are also its
oldest-skewing at 64.3 and 65-plus, respectively.
Of course, it’s not necessarily bad to be old. While advertisers buy
based on a target demographic, which in daytime is typically women
25-54, they don’t mind if they get lots of other viewers as part of the deal.
And many advertisers seek to target older consumers: “If you are a
pharmaceutical or an automotive company, older-skewing shows are
important,” says Mitch Burg, president of the Syndicated Network
Television Association. “Every marketer has a different objective.”