Over Six in Ten Americans Are Excited About at Least One New or Upcoming Television Show

NEW YORK, N.Y. – September 16, 2015 – Even the briefest glance at the slate of new shows coming down the pipeline this fall might be grounds for a sense of déjà vu, what with all the returning performers, characters and stories. They may be imports from other (or older) shows, from movies, from comics, from literature, or even a mix of sources. And while over eight in ten Americans wish there were more “new” ideas on TV (83%), that’s not to say they aren’t open to seeing familiar concepts revisited in new shows, as nearly three-fourths (73%) indicate that it excites them when a character, movie or story they like gets incorporated into a new series.

In fact, over six in ten Americans (62%) say there’s at least one new or upcoming show that they’re really excited about – a sentiment that resounds most strongly among Millennials (77%) and Gen Xers (70%), while Baby Boomers (53%) are more split and just one-third of Matures (33%) are on board.

Furthermore, six in ten Millennials (61%) and just over half of Gen Xers (52%) feel shows are getting better and better, while agreement on this point is lower among Baby Boomers (36%) and Matures (30%).

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,212 adults surveyed online between August 12 and 17, 2015.

Familiar faces

Whether they’re returning to television or coming to the smaller screen in the midst of already flourishing careers in other mediums, there are many familiar faces headed for the Fall TV schedule. When asked which (from a provided list) they’re most excited about, Jamie Lee Curtis is at the top of the list (26%), followed by Neil Patrick Harris (23%). Next up is John Stamos (20%), followed by Wesley Snipes (18%), David Duchovney (17%) and Rob Lowe (16%).

Following these are Kermit the Frog (15%) Gillian Anderson (13%) and Miss Piggy (11%). Just under one in ten are excited to see Fred Savage (9%), Jane Lynch (9%) and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (7%).

Of the stars tested, Jamie Lee Curtis is the one Americans are most excited to see across Urban, Suburban and Rural landscapes, throughout the political spectrum, in all four regions (albeit tied for first place with Neil Patrick Harris in the Midwest) and among both genders (though she ties with John Stamos among women).

Millennials are most excited to welcome Neil Patrick Harris back, while Jamie Lee Curtis tops other generations’ lists.

What to watch?

What types of shows do people like to watch? Well, three in ten Americans (30%) count comedies or sitcoms among their two favorite types of shows, while just under three in ten (28%) say detective or crime shows are among their favorites and roughly one-fourth say the same of news (24%).

Just over two in ten point to dramas (22%), while just under two in ten select sci-fi/fantasy shows (18%) and just over one in ten each cite reality/competition shows (13%), DIY/home improvement shows (12%) and food/cooking shows (11%).

Millennials and Gen Xers both tune in to comedies/sitcoms first (followed by detective/crime shows among Millennials and dramas among Gen Xers), while news is number one and detective/crime shows come in second for Matures; those same two tie for the top spot among Baby Boomers.

Men are drawn most to comedies/sitcoms, followed by news and detective/crime shows, while for women detective/crime shows, comedies/sitcoms and dramas are the top draws.

 

 

TABLE 1

TYPES OF TV SHOWS AMERICANS WATCH

“And now a few questions about television. Thinking about the shows you watch, which two types of shows would you say are your favorites?”

Base: All U.S. adults

 

Total

Generation

Gender

Watch Any TV Shows Via Streaming

Millennials

(18-35)

Gen X

(36-50)

Baby

Boomers

(51-69)

Matures

(70+)

Men

Women

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Comedy/Sitcoms

30

40

31

25

12

31

28

32

28

Detective/Crime

28

25

24

32

36

27

30

29

28

News

24

11

19

32

55

29

20

16

33

Drama

22

16

25

24

23

16

27

24

20

Sci-Fi/Fantasy

18

17

22

20

6

26

11

20

16

Reality/Competition

13

19

13

10

11

11

16

14

13

DIY/Home improvement shows

12

10

13

14

11

12

13

13

12

Food/Cooking shows

11

11

14

10

6

9

13

13

9

Dramedy

5

8

5

2

2

3

7

7

3

Soap operas

4

4

5

4

4

2

7

4

5

Travel shows

3

5

2

2

3

4

3

4

2

Daytime Talk Shows

3

3

1

3

5

2

4

3

3

Late Night Talk/Variety Shows

3

4

2

1

3

4

2

4

1

Something else

8

7

6

9

11

9

7

6

9

Don’t really watch much TV

5

6

6

4

4

6

4

5

6

Note: Multiple responses accepted


TABLE 2a

RETURNING ACTORS PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO

“There are many well-known actors coming to or returning to television this season. Of these, which three are you most excited to see again on television shows?”

Base: All U.S. adults who watch television

 

Total

Generation

Gender

Watch Any Shows Via Streaming

Millennials

(18-35)

Gen X

(36-50)

Baby

Boomers

(51-69)

Matures (70+)

Men

Women

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Jamie Lee Curtis

26

23

24

32

22

25

27

26

26

Neil Patrick Harris

23

37

20

16

10

22

23

27

19

John Stamos

20

29

16

16

17

13

27

23

17

Wesley Snipes

18

19

23

16

6

22

14

21

14

David Duchovney

17

9

17

22

20

20

14

18

15

Rob Lowe

16

17

17

14

20

16

16

19

14

Kermit the Frog

15

14

19

14

11

15

15

15

15

Gillian Anderson

13

11

14

15

8

15

11

16

10

Miss Piggy

11

9

14

10

9

9

12

11

10

Fred Savage

9

9

12

9

3

9

9

10

9

Jane Lynch

9

15

5

7

4

7

10

12

5

Mark-Paul Gosselaar

7

9

9

6

*

7

7

9

5

Not at all sure

29

19

25

32

51

28

29

20

37

Note: Multiple responses accepted; * indicates less than 0.5%

 


TABLE 2b

TOP 3 PICKS AMONG DIFFERENT GROUPS

Group

TOP SELECTION

SECOND HIGHEST

THIRD HIGHEST

 

Men

Jamie Lee Curtis

Neil Patrick Harris/Wesley Snipes (TIE)

Women

Jamie Lee Curtis/John Stamos (TIE)

Neil Patrick Harris

 

East

Jamie Lee Curtis

Neil Patrick Harris

John Stamos/David Duchovny/Kermit the Frog (TIE)

Midwest

Jamie Lee Curtis/Neil Patrick Harris (TIE)

John Stamos

South

Jamie Lee Curtis

Neil Patrick Harris

John Stamos

West

Jamie Lee Curtis

Neil Patrick Harris

John Stamos/David Duchovny (TIE)

 

Millennials (18-35)

Neil Patrick Harris

John Stamos

Jamie Lee Curtis

Gen X (36-50)

Jamie Lee Curtis

Wesley Snipes

Neil Patrick Harris

Baby Boomers (51-69)

Jamie Lee Curtis

David Duchovny

Neil Patrick Harris/John Stamos/Wesley Snipes (TIE)

Matures (70+)

Jamie Lee Curtis

David Duchovny/Rob Lowe (TIE)

 

Republicans

Jamie Lee Curtis

John Stamos/David Duchovny (TIE)

Democrats

Jamie Lee Curtis

Neil Patrick Harris

Wesley Snipes

Independents

Jamie Lee Cutis

Neil Patrick Harris

Kermit the Frog

 

Children in HH

Neil Patrick Harris

John Stamos

Jamie Lee Curtis

No children in HH

Jamie Lee Curtis

Neil Patrick Harris/David Duchovny (TIE)

 

Urban

Jamie Lee Curtis

Neil Patrick Harris

John Stamos

Suburban

Jamie Lee Curtis

Neil Patrick Harris

John Stamos

Rural

Jamie Lee Curtis

John Stamos

Neil Patrick Harris

 

 

TABLE 3a 

ATTITUDES ABOUT TELEVISION – Summary Grid

“How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements.”

Base:  U.S. adults who watch television

 

 

AGREE

(NET)

Strongly

agree

Somewhat

agree

DISAGREE

(NET)

Somewhat

disagree

Strongly

disagree

Not at

all

sure

I wish there were more “new” ideas on TV.

%

83

49

34

9

6

3

7

It excites me when a character, movie or story I like gets incorporated into a new series.

%

73

30

42

19

12

6

9

There’s at least one new/ upcoming show that I’m really excited about.

%

62

33

29

27

15

12

11

Shows are getting better and better.

%

47

13

34

45

29

16

8

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding

 

 

TABLE 3b

RETURNING ACTORS PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO

“How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements.”

Base: All U.S. adults who watch television

 

Total

Generation

Gender

Watch Any Shows Via Streaming

Millennials

(18-35)

Gen X

(36-50)

Baby

Boomers

(51-69)

Matures

(70+)

Men

Women

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

I wish there were more “new” ideas on TV.

83

83

79

86

87

84

83

84

82

It excites me when a character, movie or story I like gets incorporated into a new series.

73

80

77

68

56

72

73

80

66

There’s at least one new/ upcoming show that I’m really excited about.

62

77

70

53

32

62

62

74

50

Shows are getting better and better.

47

61

52

36

30

47

47

57

36

Note: Multiple responses accepted


TABLE 4

STREAMING STATUS

“Thinking specifically about watching television shows via streaming (e.g., on Netflix, Hulu, network websites), which of the following best describes you?”

Base: All U.S. adults

 

Total

%

 

Don’t watch via streaming (NET)

50

 

     I don’t watch any television shows via streaming, and I don’t plan on doing so.

38

 

     I don’t watch any television shows via streaming, but I’m interested in doing so.

12

 

Watch via streaming (NET)

50

 

     I watch some television shows via streaming.

31

 

     I watch most television shows via streaming.

12

 

     I only watch television shows via streaming.

6

 

Note: Multiple responses accepted

 

 

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between August 12 and 17, 2015 among 2,212 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. 

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

The Harris Poll® #54, September 16, 2015

By Larry Shannon-Missal, Managing Editor, The Harris Poll