Why do the likes of Old Christine, Gary, Scrubs, and Better Off Ted keep coming back despite rather tepid A18-49 numbers? Well, if males are the scarcer gender and thus the gender in demand, comedy is a good route to getting them. Consider this:
|King of the Hill||57%||male|
|Sit Down, Shut Up||55%||male|
|According to Jim||38%||male|
Fox's animation block is the most male-skewing block on television, no questions asked. The CBS and NBC blocks are both in the upper 40s along with Scrubs/Ted on ABC, while CBS Wednesday is lower, but still, right at the gender median despite being pretty old-skewing overall. Even though some of these shows are fairly "soapy" (HIMYM, Scrubs, The Office coming to mind) they still bring in the males because the males seemingly want to laugh. Now look at the six shows on the bottom of this list. All axed, all incapable of tapping into any kind of male interest. Is that a necessity to launch a successful comedy? 6 of 6 shows below the median were canned, 14 of 17 above it renewed. Coincidence? Maybe that is what ABC's doing wrong on the comedy front, and maybe that male skew is what saved Scrubs/Ted, because you've got to start somewhere. Will the two-hour ABC Wednesday block this fall find interest from the gender that, frankly, is defining successful comedy these days? Would seem to me that they'll have to at least skew as male as Christine/Gary, but, to be continued...