What Is The Average Age Of The Audience For Your Favorite Cable Show?

Over on Broadcasting and Cable, John Consoli tracked down the numbers for the median age of most of cable’s highest rated shows. The numbers are kind of shocking. We all knew that network audiences skewed older: CBS’s audience averages 55.6 years of age; ABC, 52.3; NBC, 49.3; and Fox, 46.2. What I didn’t realize, however, was how old the average audience is for cable networks. Below are the five shows with the oldest average age, youngest average age, and the average age from some of Warming Glow’s favorite shows.

But first, here’s the median age of the most popular cable networks.

MTV has a median age of 23.4. ABC Family, has a median age of 27.4; E!, 34.4; FX, 38; TBS, 38.6; Bravo, 41.6; TLC, 42.7; Discovery, 43; Food Network, 46.3; WE tv, 46.4; A&E, 46.5; Syfy, 46.8; TNT, 49.2; History, 49.4; AMC, 49.5; Lifetime, 49.5; and USA, 52.1.

The 5 Shows Whose Viewers Have the Oldest Median Age
The Closer, 59
Rizzoli & Isles, 58;
Dallas, 57;
Fairly Legal, 56
In Plain Sight, 55

The 5 Shows Whose Viewers Have the Youngest Median Age

Pretty Little Liars, 20
The Secret Life of the American Teenager, 22
Jersey Shore, 23
Switched at Birth, 24
16 and Pregnant, 24

The Median Age of Viewers of WarmingGlow’s Favorite Cable Shows

Franklin & Bash, 52
The Walking Dead, 36
Breaking Bad, 45
The Killing, 53
Mad Men, 54
Suits, 50
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 30
Archer, 31
American Horror Story, 32
Louie, 35
Wilfred, 35
Sons of Anarchy, 39
Justified, 46

So, what do these numbers REALLY tell us. Could it be true that the average median age of Mad Men is actually 54?


Again, these numbers are from Nielsen, and therefore, they’re the average age of viewers being tracked by Nielsen, which as we’ve discussed on several occasions, is a broken ratings service. These numbers do not account for the huge numbers of viewers that watch these shows on their iPads or other mobile devices, on their laptops, on iTunes, or illegal downloads. However, it is an accurate reflection of those who watch these shows in the living rooms, on their old-school television sets, while sitting with their cats.

I do think it’s hilarious, however, that viewers of Franklink & Bash — the bro-iest bro show on television — is 52.

(Source: Broadcasting and Cable)