Category Archives: Television

Old & Young

Although Six Monkeys is a blog dedicated to the college student demographic, it is always interesting to step outside of the box and attempt to understand our surroundings. For example, what are people in the 25-54 demographic watching? What are kids in 6-11 demo watching?

Are the ages from 18-34 as coveted as advertisers make them out to be? In our current economy, more and more evidence is pointing to the fact that it is the 54+ age range with the disposable income to spend, not recent college graduates with mounds of debt. However, media buyers and product marketers seem to be too stubborn to shift their emphasis to older viewers and are losing a lot of money by catering to generation X and Y.

With this in mind, here are some of the programs that each outside age group is engaging in:


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The Good Wife (CBS)

Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

Nurse Jackie (Showtime)

The Biggest Loser (NBC)

The Amazing Race (CBS)

Top Chef (Bravo)

American Pickers (History)

American Idol (Fox)

Two and a Half Men (CBS)

Hawaii Five-O (CBS)


Spongebob Squarepants (NICK)

The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (DSNY)

Zoey 101 (Nick)

Ned’s Declassified Kids’ Survival Guide (NICK)

Hannah Montana (DSNY)

Drake and Josh (NICK)

The Fairly OddParents (NICK)


All My Children (ABC)

One Life to Live (ABC)


The Closer (TNT)

Saving Grace (TNT)

Desperate Housewives (ABC)

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Dancing with the Stars (ABC)

Survivor (CBS)

Jay Leno Show (NBC)


Camelot, Cable Ratings and The Killing

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So the ratings were posted for Camelot and it did very well for a pay-network premiere. It was actually a record setting episode for Starz tying Spartacus: Gods of the Arena with 1.1 million viewers. In summary, it was a great weekend for cable television- Showtime’s premiere of The Borgais achieved 1.06 million viewers and AMC‘s The Killing roped in 2.7 million viewers. Also, up and comer ReelzChannel premiered the highly controversial The Kennedy’s.

I’m still working on a method in which I would be able to compare our viewing habits with Nielsen so if anyone has any mathematical formulas or suggestions, please let me know. As of now, even though we did not enjoy Camelot, because 2/6 monkeys watched it we still are technically crushing the national average.

Last night we watched the two-hour season premiere of The Killing on my personally favorite channel AMC and it was phenomenal. The characters are brutally honest, the story is intriguing and the production quality is top notch. There was even a point in the show that was so emotional I could tell all of the monkeys were feeling the anxiety of the characters. At work today several of my female co-workers admitted that they cried. In terms of viewership, only three monkeys were in attendance. Although Sunday night may be America’s television night, for our student demographic it is major catch-up-on-homework time. It will be interesting to see if the other monkeys play around with the DVR and watch the show in time for next week’s episode.



Three Monkeys!

Cable Pilot Watch 2011-2012

Unfortunately,‘s all-star reporter Nellie Andreeva only covers the broadcast TV pilot season (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX). For example, in her blog post on Tuesday, March 8th 2011, Andreeva “takes an analytical look at the current broadcast pilot season and some of its trends and heroes.” As you may have noticed, many of the monkeys are not content with the programming of the masses and have a strong appetite for cable television. Therefore, we have asked Nellie to post a parallel article relating to the cable pilots below:

PILOT SEASON: Similarities and Congruences

Part of a series that takes an analytical look at the current cable pilot season and some of its trends and heroes.

Unlike broadcast, cable TV can be out there. Way out there. For these smaller networks it’s more about holding onto their niche audiences than appealing to the masses. This gives the cable pilot season a unique range with limited trends. However, there are certain things that we can expect to see make it to the 2011-2012 season such as paranormal adventures, workplace dramas and crime procedurals.

This season A&E has added a haunted docu-soap to their development slate. The network has greenlit an unscripted pilot called The Unexplained from Executive producer Doug Liman. According to A&E’s press release, “the show will deliver real-life stories that take audiences to places they have never been before: investigating, questioning, experiencing and chasing down answers to the most bizarre stories and strangest paranormal occurrences.” (The Futon Critic)

On the scripted side, the CW Network has several paranormal projects all of which have been ordered to pilot. The first is Awakening, created by Jason Rothenberg and Bill Robinson. The pilot features Lucy Griffiths as Jenna Lestrade and Meredith Hagner as Jayce Lestrade. The two play combative sisters who come of age amid the beginning of a zombie uprising. Sticking with the female-skewing paranormal stories, the network is also introducing Spellbound from Executive Produce Becky Hartman-Edwards. The pilot is a dramedy about a young life coach/witch in new york who uses her magical powers to help others solve their problems.

Moving to the realistic, (yet still quite fiction in some instances) are the work dramas. In the past year, the USA Network has proven to be a master of scripted workplace television with hits like Royal Pains and White Collar. The formula for edgy characters that push professional boundaries can be seen in their pilot orders for Necessary Roughness and Wild Card. Necessary Roughness is produced by Sony Pictures Television and focuses on a tough, Long Island divorcee (Callie Thorne) who gets a job as a therapist for a professional football team in order to make ends meet. Wild Card, from creator Stephen Godchaux, stars Ben Lawson (Will Garrett) as a Las Vegas lawyer who must handle all of the curve balls Sin City can throw at him.

For the pay-cable channels, HBO has a workplace drama in contention hailing from recent Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin’s pilot is currently untitled but characterizes the behind-the-scenes action of a nightly cable news show. Moreover, both Showtime and Starz also have workplace pilots in development. Showtime is mulling over House of Lies featuring Don Cheadle. Lies is a half-hour, dark comedy created and written by Matthew Carnahan from the hit  book House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Tell You the Time by Martin Kihn. The Starz pilot, Boss, is from Executive Producers Brian Sher and Kelsey Grammar (also starring) and is a political thriller about the mayor of Chicago.

Crime procedurals have been very  successful on broadcast air with hits like CSI, NCIS and Law & Order so it is no

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wonder that cable networks are attempting to re-create the magic. Master class network AMC has recently ordered its pilot The Killing to series. From writer, executive producer and Cold Case series showrunner, Veena Sud,  The Killing tells the story of the murder of a teenage girl in Seattle and the subsequent police investigation. Interestingly, The Killing is based off of Forbrydelsen, a Danish television drama miniseries that  gained record viewership in Denmark. FX has also ordered a crime procedural to pilot called Powers from creator Charles H. Eglee and based off of the novel written by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. Powers is a police procedural set in a superhero-populated world. Lastly, TNT is in motion to to turn its pilot The Rabbit Factory into a series. The Rabbit Factory is from executive producer/writer Allen Loeb and tells the story of recently widowed police Detective Mike Lomax and his newly married partner, Terry Biggs. The plot focuses on Lomax who continues to receive humorous and heartfelt letters from his wife a year after her death. Lomax also tries to navigate the singles world while maintaining his pedigree as one of L.A.’s finest.

What We Watched Last Night 3/6/11

Another Sunday, another night of great television. Tonight we postponed the usual Showtime lineup to go a little less traditional route. After all, we do have a DVR and can save the premium cable for time-shifted viewing late into the night. In a bold yet tasteful move, we decided to indulge in food-based TV. Here is the lineup:

8:00PM America’s Next Great Restaurant (NBC)

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The premise behind this show is that a cast of successful chefs and restauranteurs including Bobby Flay and Curtis Stone select a group of wannabes to develop their restaurant dreams into a reality. The aspiring owner with the best concept and food is rewarded with a chain of restaurants in three different cities in the U.S. funded by the four hosts’ oodles of money.

Why we watched:

1. Celebrity factor of Bobby Flay & Curtis Stone

2. Enormous payout for the winner

3. Unique concept of pitching a restaurant instead of the common format of owning the food. If Top Chef and The Apprentice were married, this would be their lovechild.


Overall, the show wasn’t bad and definitely an entertaining hour in an 8:00PM time slot that is a hard sell. Some of the  aspiring owners did, however, seem a bit rough around the edges and I cannot say that I would be thrilled to invest in them as the hosts claim to be doing. Three monkeys hung around for the duration of this show giving it a score of three.

9:00 PM Chopped All-Stars (FOOD)

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Now this show is cool. Instead of a cooking show that takes an entire season to yield a winner, Chopped has one every episode. Four chefs compete in a timed appetizer, entree and desert round and the chef with the worst dish is eliminated after each course. Add to the mixture that they have to cook using a mystery basket that can contain some of the most outrageous ingredients imaginable and you have great TV on your hands. Chopped All-Stars ups the ante featuring some of TV’s favorite cooking personalities testing their skills in the Chopped Kitchen. The format for Chopped All-Stars is four episodes of the preliminary rounds and then the winners of each episode face off in the finals to try to win $50,000 for a charity of their choice. Can’t go wrong with giving to charity.

Why we watched:

1. Instand gratification format of the show

2. High-stakes with familiar faces and chefs of the most excellent quality

3. Quirky and near-impossible challenges that the chefs don’t always succeed in


In terms of cooking shows, Chopped is a monkey favorite. It is high-energy, eccentric and brings food to an action-packed and frantic state. Unfortunately, it is not on the air in premieres as often as we would like. When it is, it has high attendance rates.




10:00 PM Iron Chef America (FOOD)

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To close out this delicious night of viewing we watched the very popular Iron Chef America. Like Chopped, Iron Chef is an intense and timed battle between chefs. However, in this format it is a duel between only two culinary experts and usually these chefs are of the utmost skill.  In many instances, Bobby Flay himself graces the ovens of kitchen stadium with his southwestern style. Moreover, each chef has to create an entire four course meal that is inspected under the critical buds of the judges. Iron Chef America is actually based off of a Japanese version of the same name that was adapted of U.S. TV.

Why we watched:

1. The skill and expertise of the chefs is literally mouthwatering

2. The production value and unique experience of watching the chefs battle it out in Kitchen Stadium, quite possibly America’s only cooking arena

3. The instant gratification of one of the chefs winning at the end similar to Chopped.


Although a great show, the timeslot falls into  primetime homework space for a few of the Monkeys so only three were able to tune in this week. This is certainly a downfall of the 21-22 year old demographic and one that definitely needs to be taken into consideration.

What We Watched Last Night 2/27/2011

8:30 PM 2010-2011 Academy Awards (ABC)

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What a spectacular way to end the year in film! Tonight 4/6 of the monkeys tuned into the academy awards which will certainly be a top-rated program of the night. It was an especially youthful night with James Franco and Anne Hathaway at the helm. The King’s Speech turned out to be the big winner, inching out our demographic favorite: Inception. We have added The Fighter, Exit through the Giftshop and Javier Bardem’s “Biutiful” to our queue.

9:00 PM Californication (SHOWTIME)

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Californication is quite possibly the raunchiest, dirtiest and most obscene mainstream television program on air. It chronicles the life of Hank Moody (David Duchovny) a struggling writer who is always in the right situation at the right time. Therefore, it is right in our wheelhouse. This show gets the full monkey attendance each and every sunday. The show is currently in its fifth season and each episode continues to push pay television’s envelope. Perhaps we are outliers in the demographic by having the luxury of Showtime, however, this show is worth every penny.

10:00 PM Shameless (SHOWTIME)

Introducing Frank Gallagher played by William H. Macy. Frank is the antagonist of the show “Shameless”, another program on Showtime that brings all of the monkeys out of the woodwork. Shameless is a scripted hour that delves into the lives of the Gallagher family, a more than dysfunctional group of individuals brought together by their need for each other rather than blood. Each week the Gallagher’s, with Frank as their not-so leader, find themselves in some type of trouble. Also, the lead character Fiona, played by Emmy Rossum is exceptional:

This is what we watched tonight, stay tuned for the next post!

What We Watched Last Night 2/17/11

(9:00 PM) Modern Family (ABC)

Granted it hasn’t been as funny as Season 1, there’s nothing that we anticipate more each week than a half-hour with Phil Dunphy and the hilarious yet grounded characters of Modern Family on ABC. Not to mention that it’s hard to take our eyes off of the beautiful matriarchs: Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen.


(9:00 PM) Man Vs. Food: Carnivore Chronicles (TRAVEL)

The Travel Channel and Adam Richman have a great thing going. We watched Carnivore Chronicles (that recorded during Modern Family) in the 9:30pm slot between Modern Family and Top Chef. In this series, Richman travels to different restaurants in search of the meatiest of delicacies. It was the logical choice when faced with American Idol, Mr. Sunshine and Minute to Win It. , Mr. Sunshine, however, will probably be watched time-shifted within the next three days.


(10:00 PM) Top Chef: All-Stars (BRAVO)

The combination of spectacular cooking, desperate characters and unique challenges makes Top Chef All-Stars a personal favorite of ours. This season, the stakes are extraordinarily high with $500,000 worth of cash prizes on the line as well as a feature in Food & Wine magazine for the winning chef. Each chef on All-Stars is ready for redemption and to take home the title that has eluded them in the past.

Six guys watching Bravo, you ask? Well… there’s something very appealing to the flashy logo, edgy judges and high-drama productions. This is not an older-skewing female channel by any means and we have the viewership to prove it.


Unstoppable (Film)

Director: Tony Scott

Actors: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson

There’s nothing better than ending a night with a great flick, especially if it involves the likes of Denzel Washington and Rosario Dawson. Unstoppable may not be deserving of the prestigious “six monkeys” but it definitely held our attention and provided a gripping 98 minutes of Denzel acting like the man in a time of extreme adversity.