Sorry if I haven't been around to your blogs as much lately. But last week, I was called to that most noble of American duties. And it has been taking up much of my time. I know, I know, some people shy away or try and make up excuses why they can't do it. But not this American. I have answered the call.
Yes, friends. I, Bone, have been selected to keep a Nielsen TV Viewing Diary. And I take this opportunity, yea, responsibility, very seriously. For the past five days, I have been meticulously keeping a record of everything I watch on television. It feels good to be doing something that matters.
After all, how else will they know to keep airing Seinfeld reruns in syndication. That no one watches the CW, still. And that ABC's disastrous ratings are due, in large part, to such shows as Men In Trees, Six Degrees, and What About Brian. What, you've never heard of any of those shows? Exactly.
When you begin your Nielsen TV Diary, you are asked to answer a few generic questions about your household. Things like, how many TV sets are in your home? Is this TV connected to a satellite dish? Would you be interested in a reality show that was called, say for example, Dick Cheney's Prison Camp? I answered yes, although I don't really see how that is relevant.
Once you begin your diary, you learn there is more to it than simply logging the shows you watch. There are columns for "TV set off," "TV on but no one watching/listening," and "TV on but currently surfing porn." Again, I'm not quite sure what they're able to extract from this data. But ours is not to question why.
Let's dig a little deeper now. Beyond the ratings. A quick analysis of my Nielsen TV Viewing Diary reveals some interesting things about me, as a TV viewer, and as a person.
My logging week began this past Thursday at 5 AM. So basically thru five days, I've watched approximately twenty-six hours of television. That's more than five hours per day! As you might imagine, I was shocked to learn I watched this much TV.
Although if you subtract Saturday, when I watched about seven and a half hours of football (and about ten minutes of Cruel Intentions on FX), the average comes down a bit.
Breaking it down further, my twenty-six hours of television has included the following:
- 12 hours of sports or sports-related programming. (Unless you count Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team as sports programming. Then it's 13. And if you count High Stakes Poker as sports, then it's 14.25.)
- 7.5 hours of ESPN or ESPN2 (Included in the above sports total.)
- 4 hours combined between A&E and the History Channel (Cold Case Files, American Justice, Columbine Massacre, and the Manhattan Project.)
- 2.5 hours of General Hospital (Not counting anytime I may or may not have watched at work.)
- 2.5 hours of Seinfeld (Not surprisingly.)
My diary ends Wednesday night. Then it's back to civilian life. But I'm thinking of keeping one for fun after that. It's kinda like Quicken for time management. Find out where all your free time goes.
"Come and knock on our door. We've been waiting for you. Where the kisses are hers and hers and his..."