The ’09 – ’10 TV season marked the first time no regularly scheduled show averaged more than 25 million viewers – Brad Adgate.
Fragmenting audiences across broadcast and cable leaves fewer viewers per show:
“Light” has its own devoutly faithful followers, to be sure, although that number has declined. When it comes to daytime drama, people are far more likely to be talking about the latest blowup on ABC’s “The View,” which averages 4.25 million viewers.
The final episode of “Cheers” 16 years ago drew 80.4 million viewers. The last “Friends” five years ago had 52.5 million viewers. Thursday’s series finale of “ER” drew 16.4 million. Among adults age 18 to 49—the money demo—Advertising Age noted it did 14 percent of the business of the finale of “Cheers” and 24 percent of what “Friends” did.
Just part of the inevitable division of audience. The trick is to work out how to produce within the new budget realities.