A typical top-10 list of what 18-to-34s watch on cable can be summed up in one word: WWF. Beyond that, sports, more movies and finally cable originals begin to show up. So what original shows rank highest among 18-to-34s?
Broadcasting & Cable looked at the last six weeks of summer to see which shows percolated to the top. Data included all shows (46,187 shows filling 410,320 hours) from Nielsen's top-40 ad-supported basic cable networks, from July 24 through Sept. 3. Shows were ranked according to aggregate ratings for their strongest time slots. Most were premiere times except for Ripley's, which did better at 11 p.m. than it did during its 8 p.m. slot.
Men and women were considered separately and as a group. Women's viewing habits were more diverse than men's. They watched some wrestling and sports, but movies did equally well. Women were also far more likely than men to watch off-network series. Over the period tracked, 22 of the top 100 shows among women were off-network series; no off-net ranked in the top 100 for men. Also, more than twice as many women sat through Howard Stern and The Man Show as men who watched Lifetime's Any Day Now and Strong Medicine. As a group, both men and women regularly watched Discovery Sunday, an anthology series of both new and old original Discovery Channel material. Discovery Sunday is included in the show descriptions as an example of a series that attracts an equal proportion of men and women. The show profiles that follow were compiled by B & C contributor Kim McAvoy.