Wondering why ratings for your favorite TV shows are down this fall? Election coverage — not to mention the newspapers, magazines, and Palin Bingo cards piled atop your lonely remote control — could help explain why. A new Entertainment Weekly survey found that Americans age 18-34 spend 34% of their TV time watching election-related programming, and half of all Americans said they are watching fewer primetime shows as a result. As for the recent flux of popular political spoofs, 80% of pollers said they’d watched the spoofs on TV, compared with 15% online. (Here on PopWatch, I’d bet that online percentage is a lot higher. What’s a ‘TV’?)
• Sarah Palin vs. Tina Fey as Sarah Palin It’s a tie when Americans were asked who they like better: Tina Fey’s Palin (37.4%) or Governor Palin herself (37%). Among women (39%), Americans age 18-34 (45%) and Democrats (66%), Tina Fey’s Palin is the clear winner.
• Late-Night Talk Shows May Lose Viewers Post-Election Of the Americans whose favorite spoofs are courtesy of SNL, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report or Real Time with Bill Maher, 3 in 10 say they will watch less of these shows after the election.
• Election Coverage More Exciting Than 90210 and Reality TV? Among the 18-34 set, 31% said they are watching more election coverage because “it’s a heck of a lot more entertaining than the new 90210.” In addition, one out of five Americans are watching more election coverage to escape their dissatisfaction with reality TV.
• Talk Show Influence More than 40% of Americans feel that the candidates’ appearances on talk shows have some influence on their opinion of the candidates.
• Celebrity Influence More than half of Americans (53%) feel celebrity endorsements can have some influence on the candidates’ appeal. Those 25-34 (59%) and Democrats (64%) are more likely to feel that celebrity endorsement has influence on the candidates’ appeal.
• Celebrity Appeal Decreases When Voters Dislike Celebrity’s Candidate Choice Overall, more than half of Americans said that celebrity endorsements do not impact their perception of the celebrity whether they like or dislike the candidate the celebrity endorsed. However, 32% of Americans age 18-24 said they like a celebrity more when that celebrity endorses their preferred candidate, and 41% of Americans overall feel they like celebrities less when that celebrity endorses a candidate they dislike (50% among Republicans).
Thoughts? Concerns? Complimentary baked goods and/or buttons? Leave ’em below.
More on the 2008 election:
Obama vs. McCain: The Great Presidential Pop-Culture Debate
Hollywood conservatives: Come out of the closet and be heard!
PopWatch’s election coverage, including celebrity PSAs and ‘SNL’
addCredit(“Colbert: Joel Jeffries/Comedy Central; Fey: Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank”)