Does recession lead to more viewing of comedies?
We've done some analysis looking at the top 20 shows over the past 7 years and how they are split by the different programming genres.
Here's what we found:
In 2008/2009 audience numbers for comedies in English Canada represented less than 5% of the top 20 rated shows. The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half men were pretty much the only ones and they were consistently beat out by American Idol, House, NCIS, etc. At that time, top 20 rated shows focused on drama and reality TV (85-96%) and sports (4-5%). In 2010-2011 comedies gained attention taking as much as 24% of the audience. Was this because the Big Bang Theory finally had some traction and won its first award, or because Glee and $#*! My Dad Says just launched? Or, possibly, Canadians were looking for something light-hearted to turn to during rough times. Since then, with recession fears receding, comedy has dropped again, below 10% of top rated shows for Fall 2014.
During the same time period (2009-2014), reality TV started to decline and dramas have risen. Reality TV peaked in 2008/2009 accounting for up to 25% of the ratings for the top 20 shows including Survivor, American Idol, Amazing Race and Dancing with the Stars. As of Fall 2014, reality TV has dropped to just 10%. Many new reality shows tried to get into the spot light but didn't last one season or were cancelled after years on-air (including Xtreme Make-Over, LeAnn & Eddie, Boy Meets Boy), while dramas such as The Blacklist, Gotham, and Marvel: Agents of Shield seem to have developed a following.
With the concerns rising over the drop in oil prices, hitting their lowest levels since 2008, are we in for another comedy revival?