Democrats and Republicans like Real Housewives, The Hills; disagree over VH1 shows

The most engaging, memorable series on several cable networks are reality TV shows that are engaging to both Democrats and Republicans.

MTV’s The Hills, Food Network’s Next Food Network Star, HGTV’s Design Star, Bravo’s Real Housewives of Orange County, and TLC’s What Not To Wear to be the most engaging shows on their respective networks for both Republicans and Democrats.

That’s according to a Nielsen IAG analysis of engagement, a measurement that “refers to the amount of attention paid to a television program by the average viewer,” and which they determine “by questioning a representative panel of viewers about their recall of specific telecasts’ content,” according to Nielsen. The study also “found that the cable programs that received the highest overall engagement scores — meaning viewers were most engaged in the shows’ content — also received the most bipartisan support, drawing high engagement scores from viewers of both parties, as well as from viewers who identify as political ‘Independents.'”

There is disagreement, however. Fascinatingly, Democrats are more engaged by the tough-job genre, as Deadliest Catch is the most engaging Discovery Channel show for Democrats, while Ax Men leads on History. Republicans, however, are most engaged by Cash Cab and Battle 360 respectively.

There’s also disagreement on VH1: I Love New York leads for Democrats while Rock of Love leads for Republicans.

Do Dem & GOP Viewers Respond Differently To TV Shows? [Nielsen]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.