Archive for Friday, June 10, 2011

Tune In: Networks search for the elusive male viewer

June 10, 2011


Just what do guys want? Perhaps they want people to stop calling them “guys.” Or trying to figure out what they want. Attracting male audiences is among the most difficult jobs of any television network. That’s why many networks and cable stations have all but given up on the task. Ironically, after gearing most of its programming toward women, ABC is enjoying some of its healthiest ratings in a while with its coverage of the NBA finals, a certifiable guy thing.

Over on NBC, the quest for male viewers proceeds with coverage of Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final (7 p.m., NBC) between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. Not sure your Oxygen, WE, OWN or Lifetime viewers will be tuning in.

And while AMC has received a good deal of attention and Emmy consideration for its homegrown dramas “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” “The Walking Dead” and “The Killing,” the network still attracts its bread-and-butter audience with tough guy fare like war movies, cop dramas and westerns. Tonight is no different, with an ongoing Clint Eastwood festival, including “Magnum Force” (2:30 p.m.); “The Enforcer” (5 p.m.); “Sudden Impact” (7 p.m.) and “The Dead Pool” (9 p.m.). Go ahead, make your day.

No network strives more desperately to attract male viewers than Spike, home to the confabulated awards show “Guys Choice” (8 p.m., Spike), now in its fifth forgettable year.

This is the show to watch if you want to know the answers to questions such as: “Who is the Most Dangerous Man?” “Who is the Most Unstoppable Jock?” and “Who is the Holy Grail of Hot?”

If you find those imponderables taxing the brain cells you’ve exhausted by not reading the articled in Maxim, you can rest assured that some mighty mysteries have already been settled. The network has already announced that Jennifer Anniston will be honored with the “Decade of Hotness” Award. Which begs the question: Just what decade are they talking about?

• Two candidates (Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson) rattle the skeletons in each other’s closets at a nominating convention in the 1964 adaptation of Gore Vidal’s political stage drama “The Best Man” (7 p.m., TCM). Vidal’s script includes the great political zinger, “He has all of the characteristics of a dog except loyalty.”

The 1962 political thriller “Advise and Consent” (9 p.m.) follows. Both movies were somewhat shocking in their day for their discussion of scandals based on secret homosexuality.

Tonight’s other highlights

• A mobster escapes with an informant in tow on “Flashpoint” (7 p.m., CBS).

• Students learn about the lingering effects of instant gratification on “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” (8 p.m., ABC).

• Paul shifts strategy on “Whale Wars” (8 p.m., Animal Planet).

• A gator invades a popular swimming hole on “Swamp Brothers” (9 p.m., Discovery).

• A mid-century coffee vending machine looms large on “American Restoration” (9 p.m., History).


Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years ago

Why I thought that the guy from Pomona who sits around in the evening watching John Wayne movies was the norm for the network ratings.

It really does not matter who comes up on these ratings sweeps, nearly all the tripe on television today is dumb, mind-numbing, aimed at the lowest common denominator, and a total wasteland.

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