Fifteen TV Shows We Can All Agree On

November 23, 2010 by Experian Marketing Services

This week marks the anniversary when Native Americans and American settlers sat down and broke bread together in peace. In that spirit, we want to provide an update to our recent political post in which we identify not the TV shows that divide Americans on opposing political sides, but those that bring both registered Republicans and Democrats together.

Below is a list of the top 15 programs, according to Experian Simmons’ National Consumer Study, that registered Democrats and registered Republicans both watch at above average rates. To understand how a program can score high for both Republicans and Democrats, it’s important to know that registered Republicans make up 24% of the U.S. adult population and registered Democrats account for 34% of adults. Voters registered with another political party or as independents account for 15% of the adult population and 21% of adults are not registered to vote. Six percent of U.S. adults in the study either did not know if they were registered to vote or did not know which party they were registered with. Therefore, it is entirely possible for programs to perform well among both Republicans and Democrats when compared with other U.S. adults.

Topping the list of unifying shows is The Good Wife on CBS. Republicans are 19% more likely than the average American adult to tune into this hit show starting Julianna Marguiles as the wife of a Chicago politician caught up in a public sex affair and political corruption scandal. But Democrats too flock to The Good Wife-now in its second season-at rates 24% above the U.S. average. CBS actually secures several spots on the list of programs popular among viewers on both the left and the right of the political aisle, including The Mentalist, Numb3rs, How I Met Your Mother and NCIS.

Top indexing NETWORK and CABLE programs (non-news, non-music) Republican Index Democrat Index
The Good Wife (CBS) 119 124
The Mentalist (CBS) 119 116
Income Property (HGTV) 114 120
Numb3rs (CBS) 117 117
Human Target (Fox) 114 118
Desperate Housewives (ABC) 116 116
Modern Family (ABC) 124 108
Friday Night Lights (NBC) 111 119
Dancing with the Stars (ABC) 117 112
Monday Night Football (ESPN) 112 115
How I Met Your Mother (CBS) 113 112
Weather Center (The Weather Channel) 114 111
The Bachelorette (ABC) 113 111
NCIS (CBS) 115 109
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC) 112 111
*Rank order determined by calculating the average index for Republicans and Democrats. All programs included in the ranking indexed at or above 108 for both Republicans and Democrats. An index of 100 is average.

Source: Experian Simmons National Consumer Study, Spring 2010

HGTV’s Income Property is the highest ranking cable show on the list, which Republicans and Democrats tune into at rates 14% and 20%, respectively, above the national average. The show about converting a part of your home into an apartment to help with the mortgage confirms that in these tough economic times Democrats and Republicans alike can use all the help they can get.

The relatively new Human Target on Fox, based on a DC Comics comic book, has a bright future in store if it can continue attracting both Democrats and Republicans viewers.  Just ask the creators of ABC’s Desperate Housewives. Desperate Housewives, now in its seventh season, has the unique honor of being the only program on the list that appeals equally to both sides. Republicans and Democrats are both 16% more likely than average to tune in each week to find out what the ladies of Wisteria Lane have cooked up.

We all know that later this month when President Obama and Republican leaders meet in Washington to discuss a roadmap to bipartisan cooperation that they won’t agree on much. That said, they’ll always have The Good Wife to bridge the divide. Happy Thanksgiving!