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What's To Watch on Anglo TV?

9/07/2003 08:00:00 PM Eastern

Fox's reality blockbusters Joe Millionaire
and American Idol
are just as popular in Hispanic communities as they are with the overall TV audience, according to Nielsen Media Research. Still, most of Latinos' TV-watching time is spent on Spanish-language TV networks, with Univision firmly in the lead.

While Latinos share the rest of the U.S.'s affinity for ersatz millionaires and performers with big dreams, their TV tastes are different when it comes to scripted shows, with ABC's George Lopez
and Fox's The Simpsons and Wanda at Large ranked much higher among Latinos than they are with the general population.

Latinos are much less interested in one-hour crime dramas. And they are much more partial to NBC's Fear Factor than the overall U.S. audience is.

The large broadcast networks are trying to attract the largest number of viewers in their key demos as possible, regardless of their ethnicity. Among Latinos, though, Spanish-language network Univision is so popular, according to an Initiative Media analysis of Nielsen Media Research data, that English-language networks hardly stand a chance.

Among Hispanics, Univision crushes all six major broadcast networks in all programming categories. Telemundo also outscores each of them in all categories except reality, but Telemundo's margin is much smaller.

The most popular English-language programs among Hispanics are animated shows and reality shows, according to Initiative, but telenovelas on the Spanish-language nets remain far more popular than any English-language format.

Ranked by number of highest-rated shows, Fox and NBC are the most popular Big Six broadcast networks among Latinos, while ABC does well with George Lopez, The Bachelor and Monday Night Football.

Among adults 18-49, CBS's top show on Latinos' list is CSI at No. 19. UPN's WWE Smackdown! us No. 14 in the demo. Among total Hispanic viewers, the numbers are even worse for CBS, with CSI its highest-rated show at No. 22; CSI is the top-rated show among all TV viewers.

Both Latinos 18-49 and all adults 18-49 love Joe Millionaire and American Idol. Overall TV viewers give first place to Joe, while Latinos prefer Idol. Friends is fourth among Latinos 18-49, second among U.S. adults 18-49. NBC's ER is fifth among Latinos 18-49 and all adults 18-49.

After that, the differences become more noticeable.

Fear Factor is sixth among Latinos in that demo, while it ranks 21st among all adults 18-49. George Lopez, about a family of Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles, is seventh among Latinos 18-49, 44th among all adults 18-49.

Among total Hispanic viewers, Fox reality shows top the list, with Joe Millionaire the No. 1 show of the year and American Idol taking second and third with its Wednesday- and Tuesday-night programs. The overall Hispanic population then prefers Fox's The Simpsons, George Lopez, Fear Factor, Friends and Fox's Malcolm in the Middle, in that order.

Both the general U.S. and Latino populations like Joe Millionaire; it was second last season among all viewers. Overall U.S. viewers were less psyched about American Idol: The results show on Wednesdays was third, Friends fourth and the Idol Tuesday-night performance show fifth.

U.S. viewers ranked CBS's Survivor: Thailand No. 6, while Hispanic viewers ranked it No. 42. Overall viewers rank ER seventh, while Hispanic viewers put it 13th. And CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond is ninth among total viewers, No. 41 among Hispanics.

Latinos make up just over 9% of U.S. households and 13% of total persons in the U.S., according to Nielsen estimates of the 2002-03 population. But the Latino audience is younger, with a median age under 30 vs. 36.5 for the total TV population.

In New York, 15% of households are Latino, with 50% of those Spanish-language–dominant. In Los Angeles, Latinos comprise nearly 30% of households; in 56% of those homes, families speak mostly Spanish. Nearly 12% of Chicago households are Hispanic, 63% of those Spanish-dominant. Nearly 40% of Miami households are Hispanic, 71% of those mainly Spanish-speaking.

In some markets, Hispanics are a much bigger part of the community than the national average. Border markets Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas (DMA 102), and El Paso, Texas (98), for instance, are 80% and 69% Hispanic, respectively, according to Nielsen.

March