Television: A Graying Media?


The Emmys were awarded last night. And, even though I review a lot of TV for Plugged In, I didn’t watch them. I felt a wee bit guilty about it for a while (a television critic really should watch a television show which doles out awards to other television shows, right?), but the show really held no interest for me. And after reading an article in the Los Angeles Times, I now know why.

I’m too young.

I’m 40 years old now, so it’s rare that anyone tells me I’m “too young” for anything. But television, understanding its audience is graying, has shown a willingness to write meaty roles for older actors. It figures that the industry’s awards would reflect it’s core demographic: folks older than me. Only one of the major acting awards went to someone younger than 40 (that’d be 37-year-old Toni Collette of Showtime’s United States of Tara), and some were old enough to be one of my parents (62-year-old Glenn Close, for instance).

Now, obviously television still pulls in viewers from across the demographic spectrum, but I still thought this was pretty interesting. And it makes me wonder: Do you think that TV is losing its relevance with younger media consumers?

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  bookwormbeauty:

I'm a young media consumer, and I think there are several reasons why broadcast television is losing relevance with my generation ( teens).  For one, I only watch television online, and I know many of my friends and peers operate in the same way.  DVR's and Tivo have also made watching live television a bit obsolete.  And mainly... we don't care about the Emmy's.  We don't care what a bunch of adults have decided is award-winning television.  I, for one, am happy when some shows I enjoy win awards, but then, not many friends of mine like The Office or 30 Rock. 

And no, we're not watching more uplifting media.  We're just watching MTV- online.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Comment by  Daizy:

I also had no interest in watching the Emmys, and this was probably the first year I didn't really pay attention to the results.   However, in response to your comment that only one award was given to someone younger than 40--perhaps the older generation of actors/actresses is just more talented.           Do I think TV is losing its relevance with younger media consumers?   I suppose that's possible, what with all the other electronic media available to them; however, I know it is losing its relevance with me, and I am in Glenn Close's generation and have had a computer for only two years and only last year began to email.        In general, TV shows seem to have squandered a marvelous opportunity to provide education and quality viewing experiences in favor of licentiousness and general lewdness, highlighting poor coping skills and selfish behaviors.   When the characters do experience an epiphany it is usually at the end of the episode/show and very little redeeming "new life" is portrayed or carried over to the next episode.   Yes, but real life is often like this some may say.   All the more reason to model examples of how life really could be--it's not impossible!        If younger media consumers are turning their TVs off I pray it is because they are finding other more uplifting and encouraging media and content.   Hopefully they are discovering helpful means of relating to each other and to community.   Hopefully they are growing in the knowledge of the Lord and following His path for their lives.   The world tells us otherwise, but Hope springs eternal.