TV viewership broken down by age

In this thread, “The Simpsons” came up as an example of great art, an example I take exception to (though not strenuously enough to keep arguing about it).

I’m guessing that those who are thinking it is great art are younger (say, under 30), and I’m further guessing that Simpsons viewership skews young – I throw out “under 40” in that thread, which I think is correct. I do know that I’m not aware of a single member of my own age peer group (50+) who still watches regularly.

Anyway, if you want to argue about any of that, go to that thread; I’m explaining it as background.

What I am asking here is – is there a site that breaks down viewership of particular TV shows by age or other demographic categories? You see this info referred to all the time in articles, but I’m not clear whether this is insider info or whether it’s publicly available.

Here you go. It’s not perfect, but this USA Today site shows you the top shows by overall viewers, by those age 18-49, and by those over 50.

Wow, CBS really is the network that old people like to watch.

Thanks – but other than the fact that “The Simpsons” wasn’t in the Top Ten for shows viewed by people 50+ that particular week, it’s not really answering my question.

Ratings data like that by age group is, indeed, collected by Nielsen, among other sources, but, AFAIK, it’s not generally distributed to the public. In fact, Nielsen et al make their subscribers sign contracts that require the subscribers to not disseminate the data, since it’d be seen as devaluing that data.

ETA: Subscriptions to Nielsen are not cheap, and, if you could get that data for free out on the Net, Nielsen would find few people willing to pony up the cash.

That makes sense, kenobi – I was just poking around on the Nielsen site coming to pretty much the same conclusion.

Oh well – I can’t prove my point, but it can’t be disproved either. :wink:

A lot depends on your definition of “young.”

People in their fifties may think of Conan O’Brien as a “young” edgy entertainer, and his fans may like to think of themselves the same way… but his hardcore fans are generally in their late thirties and early forties- not Lawrence Welksville, but not REALLY young, either.

“The Simpsons” falls into the same category. That show has been around a looooong time, and so have many of its rabid fans. The viewership of “The Simpsons” might have skewed very young fifteen years ago, but now? Now, it’s a show for fortyish guys. In any given week, I’d bet there are more fathers of teens watching Bart & Homer than there are teens.

The specifics of what “young” means aren’t really the issue here – I was looking for viewer data, which apparently I’m not going to be able to find.