Primetime TV, tool of the Left

“The cornerstone of his analysis, though, is that moment in the late ‘60s when ABC, the also-ran of the Big Three, made a brilliant marketing move that still affects us today. Locked out of the top end of the ratings by essentially rural, conservative shows like Gunsmoke, Green Acres, and The Beverly Hillbillies, ABC commissioned a study that strained to prove that youthful, urban audiences had more purchasing power than older, rural and suburban ones, and that advertisers should be chasing them by buying time on the sort of edgy, youth-skewing programs that ABC had been forced to favour.

Since bluff plays such a huge part in the entertainment business, it worked, and ABC’s competitors were forced to cancel a whole roster of successful shows and usher in the age of All In The Family, M*A*S*H, and Mary Tyler Moore, and every television network and ad buyer lives in thrall to this dictum to this day, even if it’s almost wholly false. The fact that the new shows were, strident liberal politics aside, creatively much more interesting than what they replaced was an unexpected enhancement that only gave the lie legs.”

Rick McGinnis

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