Top Twenty Basic Cable Shows of 2012 Including 'Walking Dead', 'Jersey Shore' & 'Suits'

Categories: 1-Featured,Cable TV

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December 12th, 2012


The top 20 Basic Cable Shows among Adults 18-49 include 8 scripted programs, 11 reality series and 1 comedy clip show.

The top 20 Basic Cable shows among Total Viewers include 14 scripted programs and 6 reality series.



Source: Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data. Based on most current 2012 data available: Final Live+7 (12/26/11-11/25/12) blended with Live+SD (11/26/12-12/09/12). 2-telecast minimum. Kids networks excluded.

  • Chris

    @Holly–yes, it has been a while since you’ve watched SOA, which has gone out of its way to cast strong actors in key roles who are not white–yes, most of the TITULAR characters are white, but the storyline keeps pointing out that if they don’t reach out and form alliances with people who aren’t white, they’re going down.

    As to why TWD is introducing more and more prominent black characters–hardly the point, now is it? The show’s popularity is increasing, and I suspect if you broke down the audience demos, you’d find a much larger-than-average number of non-whites watching it. Not JUST because of the greater inclusiveness, no. But in the long run, it counts for something. TWD could have easily started to slide in the ratings by now–instead it’s growing. If they’d made it all-crackers all the time, that might not be the case.

    It’s not a coincidence. The shows are not simply inclusive in the sense of having people in them who aren’t white. They are inclusive in terms of appealing to the SHARED TASTES of younger viewers of all races. But part of doing that is having a cast that looks like America. TODAY.

  • gerry


    You do know that TWD is based on a graphic novel, so the characters and their respective races were created well before the show even hit the airwaves, right?

    I’m not saying that the multi-racial casting/characters isn’t helping the demo, it probably is. but the show would never have been ‘crackers all the time’ because the novels on which it’s based weren’t written that way.

  • Chris

    Yes, gerry, I know that. What I don’t know is why you think that’s relevant to the points I’m making. :)

    They have, in fact, changed MANY things from the graphic novel, as you must know–once upon a time, they could and probably would have changed the race of some of those non-white characters, or made them less central to the storyline. It’s becoming increasingly clear to them that they don’t need to do that in order to appeal to a mass audience.

    I’m not saying TWD set out to be this racially inclusive show, though I think they did state in the pilot that the only valid difference now existing between ambulatory individuals now was whether they were alive or dead. It’s certainly not what you’d call PC, but I don’t think that’s what younger people really want. They just don’t want quite so much vanilla in their ice cream. Nothing WRONG with vanilla. It’s just not the only flavor.

  • Chris

    As to Sons of Anarchy, I’ve been watching it less myself of late, but the few times I tuned in, I couldn’t help noticing that about half the active players were black, Latino, or Asian. It’s a show about outsiders, and (let’s face it) criminals, but it’s also a show that looks a whole lot more like America than Modern Family ever will. :)

  • GB

    Silvit that’s just not true. TNT always talks about their demo (25-54). Every network has a target demo. That’s how it works moron. And don’t confuse yourself– Spielberg, Bruckheimer etc are not your colleagues. I’ve actually worked with both and you’d be shaking in your boots in their formidable presence. You are just a uninformed wannabe blogging annonymously.

  • silvit


    Oh,yes, TNT brags about their 25-54 demo in their press releases. Because that’s the only thing they can brag about, since they lose in all the other demos. Funny things is that USA beat them there too. Because the majority of TNT viewers are over 54.

    Keep working with them. ;-) Their shows still remain crap and as Chris said, so so vanilla. Old people like vanilla, that’s for sure.

  • silvit

    What Chris said is right. There is any show on broadcast tv -or network like TNT ;-) – which looks like America today? Which at least talks about some themes that are relevant to today’s generation? No.

    They just talk about themselves and about themes that have already been covered to death in the past. Completely irrelevant shows.

    Oh and by the way, I’ve been in the presence of Madonna and I didn’t shake in my boots. ;-) They are just entertainers, not people who changed the world.

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