Are "Q-Ratings" still used in television?

In the 1980’s there was a lot of talk about the “Q-Rating”. It was a numerical measure of a person’s likeability on television. Bill Cosby had the top Q-Rating I believe, and Michael J. Fox, Johnny Carson, and the Olsen Twins were somewhere up there too. Burt Reynolds also had a high Q-Rating until his divorce from Loni Anderson.

Supposedly a sitcom would be launched based on someone’s Q-Rating alone (“Evening Shade” for instance). People with high Q-Ratings also got the highest rates for commercial work (Cosby).

I don’t hear much about these any more. Maybe after Survivor, Jackass and The Sopranos lovable cuddliness is no longer a virtue in TV Land. Who did the Q-Ratings, the Nielsen people?

Hmmm … I remember a 1980s organization named “Q5”, that designed Saturday morning cartoons based on marketing research. (The title that stands out most in my mind is The Little Clowns of Happytown. It was every bit as nauseating as its title suggests.)

Perhaps the name “Q5” was a reference to these Q-ratings you’re talking about. What was Bill Cosby’s Q-rating?

I forget the number…but Bill Cosby was the banchmark for celebrity likeability.

I think this company compiles them.

I work at a cable net. Yup, we still use 'em, and the onair talent still calls asking about them.