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November 1, 2019

In Brief: Somebody Tell A Joke!

According to TiVo’s 2nd quarter 2019 Video Trends Report, when asked about their favorite content genres on TV, comedy came out on top, with 61.1% saying it was their top choice. Drama trailed behind, but we suspect that the results would have been more favorable to this genre if its subsets had not been tallied separately.

Nevertheless, in an era where TV (including SVOD services) abounds with critically acclaimed dramas that often push the envelope, viewers need a break from the complex, often intense and harrowing story lines. Although SVOD and cable entries feature heavy doses of drama, the networks seem more responsive in featuring sitcoms in their primetime lineups.

Changes For The Broadcast Networks’ Primetime Lineups

The TiVo data on TV genre preferences got us wondering what (if anything) has changed in the broadcast nets’ primetime TV schedules in recent years. To find out, we took a look at the TV shows that ran during the 2014-15 season compared to those that are slated to run this season and grouped them by broad genres:


As shown, dramas have held steady, with the greatest proportion of programming across the primetime lineup. Sitcoms are on the upswing however, with their share of the lineup increasing 47% over the 2014-15 levels. This seems to have come mainly at the expense of reality programming, which has declined significantly in the same time frame. Sounds as though everyone’s a little tired of drama and reality, and ready for some laughs, which the networks are poised to deliver. 

In our annual, TV Dimensions 2019 (What Kinds of Programs Do We Watch?), we trend viewing by program genres back to the 1950s, including a demographic profile of hours spent weekly viewing linear TV.


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