When it comes to the top 10 favorite TV shows for Republicans and for Democrats, except for a handful of outliers – like this season’s “Roseanne” reboot – there really hasn’t been that much of a difference. The real difference comes in beyond the standard network fare.
The “Roseanne” reboot, which drew a wide conservative viewership, suggests there might be a lot of potential TV partisanship. But although Republicans and Democrats tend to favor specific top shows that reflect their views, there’s more common ground than division, NBC News reported.
Data gathered last year from Simmons Research showed there only are a few clear splits in the types of TV shows Republicans and Democrats prefer and the top 10 entertainment shows that the two tuned in most frequently are quite similar.
Seven of the top 10 shows for Republicans and Democrats were the same, although they appeared in different order:
Republicans – 1. “Fixer Upper,” 2. “The Big Bang Theory,” 3. “American Pickers,” 4. “Property Brothers,” 5. “NCIS,” 6. “House Hunters,” 7. “Flip or Flop,” 8. “60 Minutes,” 9. “America’s Got Talent” and 10. “Blue Bloods.
Democrats – 1. “The Big Bang Theory,” 2. “Fixer Upper,” 3. “America’s Got Talent,” 4. “60 Minutes,” 5. “Property Brothers,” 6. “House Hunters,” 7. “NCIS,” 8. “Criminal Minds,” 9. “Law and Order: SVU” and 10. “American Ninja Warrior.”
People in both parties equally enjoyed watching the quirky comedy series “The Big Bang Theory,” as well as the popular home renovating show “Fixer Upper.”
Another hit among both sides was “America’s Got Talent” as well as forensic hit “NCIS” and the real estate series “House Hunters.”
The divide came in shows such as “American Pickers,” “Flip or Flop” and “Blue Bloods,” which indicated a pattern in the Republican viewing data, while “Criminal Minds,” “Law and Order: SVU” and “American Ninja Warrior” took the Democratic preference.
The latest data reflected the same trends that emerged in 2014, when research firm Experian Marketing Services conducted a similar study.
According to that report, summarized by Entertainment Weekly, Republican favorites included real estate shows, crime shows and reality TV, while Democrats showed a preference towards biting comedy and shows with liberal messages.
Last year, a study conducted by E-Score Program produced similar findings.
“Republicans prefer programs that are family-friendly, funny, plot-driven or have storylines that involve 'good versus evil,’” the report noted, per Business Insider.
Democrats on the other hand “prefer programs that are sexy, edgy, emotionally involving, ethnically diverse or have strong characters,” the study found.
When slection widened, NBC said, the Simmons data showed Democrats lean to shows featuring African-American casts and delving into African-American issues, including “Empire” and “Black-ish,” and other shows from BET. Another is “Saturday Night NBA Basketball,” most likely because the NBA has long tended to have a larger share of African-American fans than other major sports.
The Democratic list also features topical comedy shows like “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Veep,” which both air on HBO and which data shows Democrats like overall.
Republicans show different patterns, NBC said.
“Last Man Standing” is a strong favorite, even though the show is out of production. There’s a preference for programs showing the value of older, vintage items, including “Antiques Roadshow,” “American Pickers,” “Pawn Stars,” and “This Old House.”
In sports, Republicans especially like NASCAR's “Xfinity Series” on Fox Sports 1 and regular season college football on ESPN.
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