Published On: Wed, May 16th, 2018

How Old (or Young) Network TV's Audiences Are

The top 10 shows on network TV have an average age of 47 and older.

This season’s top 10 most popular shows on network TV in the US have a predominantly older audience.

According to a report from the The New York Times, major networks like CBS, ABC, and NBC are struggling to attract younger audiences, who are instead choosing to consume their entertainment media on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

The outlet made a list of the “top 10 entertainment shows during the 2017-2018 television season,” which shows the median age of the viewer. Check out the list in order from oldest to youngest below:

  • The Good Doctor (58.6) 
  • Young Sheldon (57.4) 
  • The Voice (57.3) 
  • The Big Bang Theory (56.2) 
  • 9-1-1 (53.5) 
  • Greys Anatomy (53.1) 
  • Roseanne (52.9) 
  • This is Us (52.6) 
  • Will & Grace (52.2)
  • Empire (47.8) 

Riverdale, on the CW, has the youngest median age of all the network shows at 37.2. These numbers are especially important during the “upfronts,” which is an event held every year for networks to show off their newest shows to advertising executives looking to spend billions of dollars to get their products on TV.

The upfronts are one of the reasons why there have been so many TV cancelations this week, as networks make important financial decisions on budgets and which pilots they’re going to greenlight. Not every canceled series is as fortunate as Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which was picked up by NBC last week.

Are you surprised by the average viewership age any of these shows? Let us know in the comments.

David Griffin still watches DuckTales in his pajamas with a cereal bowl in hand. He’s also the TV Editor for IGN. Say hi on Twitter.

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How Old (or Young) Network TV's Audiences Are