I received a few e-mails about the post on ABC Family's Secret Life of an American Teenager doing better ratings-wise than. Most of the e-mail went like this: Oh sure, pick on Gossip Girl but then RAVE about Mad Men. That's not too hypocritical now, is it!?
I was originally titling this post "Is cable weekly top forty. And let's face it, the show gets crushed by , , , In Plain Sight, Monk, , , , Back at the Barnyard and a whole lot of . And as Wayne Friedman notes, although the season two premiere of more than doubled last season's average, it only actually fared 20% better than last year's premiere.Cable's ?" A show with all the buzz, all the magazine covers, all the stories, all the critical acclaim and hardly watched by anyone. As I noted when I wrote about the 's ratings improvement that as nice as it was, it would still not put it in the
Am I a hypocrite? Perhaps. Though it took me four or five episodes to get completely sucked in to, I definitely am completely sucked in now. Completely separate from the ratings, it's definitely a quality show. My bashing of and the CW is not about the quality of . Is Gossip Girl a great quality show? I have no idea! I'm a 46 year old man, and there's not really any basis for me to watch the show.
Even if I watched it, I still couldn't opine on the quality of the show as it's not really targeted at a general audience. It's targeted at young people. I can't opine on Gossip Girl when it comes to quality. All I can tell you is I've seen Blake Lively interviewed a few times and seen a video of her on YouTube being accosted by a gaggle of teenage girls and she seems like a truly lovely person who handles everything very well.
Is Mad Men the Gossip Girl of cable television? I don't really think so for one reason: AMC isn't a broadcast network and it's never been that huge of a cable network. I would argue that CW should be able to have at least one show that consistently performs as well asor In Plain Sight perform for USA. It doesn't. I wouldn't make the same argument about Mad Men/AMC.
But when it comes to the question of "is Mad Men the Gossip Girl for adults?" Yes, I think it is. It has all the buzz, critics swoon over it, it truly is a fabulous show, but...hardly anyone watches it. There's a lot of television I love that doesn't pull fabulous numbers. The Wire andcome to mind. Sure, those shows both ran/run on subscription cable channels - but so did The Sopranos, which routinely was near the top of the weekly cable top 40.