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WGA STRIKE UPDATE: Pew Poll Suggests Many Viewers Unaffected by Strike

Pew Research: 35% Said Shows Were in Repeats, 49% Claimed No Effect 1/11/2008 04:02:00 AM Eastern

If a recent poll is any gauge, the writers' strike has yet to disrupt the viewing patterns of a majority of viewers.

According to a just-released Pew Research poll, only a little over a third of respondents (35%) said the shows they watched were now airing repeats because of the strike, while almost one-half (49%) said it had not affected their shows at all. The poll was conducted in late December.

A majority (54%) also said they they either did not know whether the strike had affected the shows of Jay Leno, David Letterman or Jon Stewart (34%) or thought it hadn't (20%). In addition, 70% of respondents said they didn't think they had been missing out on any campaign news -- the Pew survey was primarily about election information -- because the late-night shows had been in repeats (They are now back, without writers in all but Letterman's case, whose production company signed a side deal with the Writers Guild of America).

In Pew's 2004 survey, much was made in the general press about the finding that a lot of people, particularly young people, got campaign info from comedy shows like Stewart's Daily Show or The Colbert Report, but Carroll Doherty, associate director of the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, said this morphed into the suggestion that young people got most of their campaign info from those comedy shows, which is not the case.

He interpreted the 70% who say they haven't missed out during their comedic campaign info as demonstrating that viewers get their election information from a variety of sources, including the late-night shows.

Pew polled 1,430 adults 18-plus in the telephone survey, conducted Dec. 19-30.

For full coverage of the strike, click here.

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