In the TV season just concluded, the highest indexing primetime broadcast series (non-sports) among demo viewers, in homes earning $150K+ per year, was ABC’s The Bachelor. This might come as a surprise to critics who’ve described Bachelor as that hook-up-in-a-hot-tub show, those who would have put money on the most upscale broadcast reality TV series to be something more along the lines of, say, ABC’s pitch-a-venture-capitalist series Shark Tank, or CBS’ tony, often-Emmy-winning world-traveling The Amazing Race, or NBC’s extremely popular singing competiton series The Voice. And, if you stop 10 people on the street, odds are eight of them would swear the season’s most upscale broadcast TV series in young-demo, high income homes would something along the lines of CBS’s lawyerly The Good Wife, or maybe ABC’s Washington-set soap Scandal. They would be wrong.
Surprising to some, six of the TV season’s highest indexing non-sports broadcast shows with demo viewers in 150K+homes are reality series, also including ABC’s The Bachelorette and Shark Tank, NBC’s American Dream Builders, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (maybe one of the reasons network execs work like little beavers to keep this one on the air despite its recent ratings challenges, which resulted in a slight uptick this past TV season) and Amazing Race. Check out the chart:
Bucking the general trend for unscripted series, these series attracted a highly desirable upscale audience, led by The Bachelor. Based on its index, or concentration of high-income viewers (adults 18-49 in homes with $150K+ annual income), Bachelor is the No. 1 non-sports series; it indexes at 211, which means it does a 111% higher rating in 150K+ homes than it does in regular demo ratings. (For comparison sake, CBS’s summer hook-up-in-a-hot-tub-in-the-kitchen-or-in-any-available-corner-of-the-house series Big Brother last summer indexed at 81 on Sunday nights, 78 on Thursdays and 75 on Wednesdays. Apparently Bachelor’s red roses and evening dress parades pay off.)
The Bachelor outpaces The Good Wife (207) at No. 2, ABC’s Modern Family (175) at No. 5. Among reality TV series Bachelor beats such reality series as NBC’s The Voice (107) and The Voice-Tues (107), CBS’ Survivor (114), Fox’s American Idol-Wednesday (121) and American Idol-Thursday (1112), and ABC’s Shark Tank (155).
Only four reality series make the Top 20 list among 18-49-year-old viewers with 4+ years of college, with The Bachelor losing the reality top spot to a series in which a bunch of 12 single dumb-as-hair American women searching for Prince Charming are duped to varying degrees into thinking they’re dating Prince Harry. Bachelor is No. 2 among reality series, followed by Bachelorette. (This is so depressing we’re going to think about it another day.)