Friday, May 11, 2007

Debunk this.

Check out what a simple google search brings up:
At 9 p.m. ET, the debut of "Heroes" (5.9 rating, 14 share in 18-49, 14.3 million viewers overall) delivered NBC's highest 18-49 for any fall drama premiere in five years (since "Crossing Jordan" on Monday, Sept. 24, 2001). "Heroes" soared above the time period competition in the key demographic of adults 18-49, with a 31 percent margin of victory over second place (5.9 vs. a 4.5 for CBS' comedies). Pending updates, "Heroes" also won the hour in total viewers, adults, men and women 18-34 and other key measures.
Hey, that flat out says that more women were tuning in to a show about people with powers and abilities beyond that of normal men and women than any other show that night. They won the overall "Adults" demographic, rather than just the "men." Why that would imply that there was an interest in superheros from both men and women.

And that's a report from just September of last year.

Now, I'm no marketing or television specialist but it supports my personal experience where I know both men and women who urge me to watch this show.

If there's an experienced person out there who can debunk this argument without resorting to stupid cliches about women watching to land a man, feel free.


  1. I read somewhere on the Internets that girls don't like super heroes. It was written by a woman who actually tells people she has a master's degree in pop-culture. I believe that trumps your facts and figures.

  2. Rick, tell me, are you married?

    *bats eyes*

  3. Yes. :) I'm married to a wonderful woman that likes action movies just as much as I do. Probably even more then I do.

    Nice blog BTW.

  4. *snorfle @ Rick*

    Generally: Win.

    Expected Response: But it's TV. That's different.

  5. I don't know if you've seen this yet, but check out Mike Sterling's post today about which comics his girlfriend's 9 and 10 year old nieces really liked from FCBD:

    Anecdote is not data and all that, but I thought it was an amusing entry given what's been going around for the last few days...

  6. The soap opera aspects of superhero stuff are much easier to pull off on TV than in comics.

    There you go, an explanation of why Heroes is popular with both demographics, using stereotypes about who likes soap operas and who likes superheroes, all wrapped together in one sentence for you.

  7. What did I say?

    Nostradamus got nothin' on me.

  8. To be fair, Joanna said superhero comics aren't for girls. Which is still overly broad, though it does reflect most of Marvel & DC's output. (Of course, she also refers to it as a "genre", so either I'm confused or she is)

    Sailor Moon is pretty much a superhero comic for girls, and an extremely popular one at that. (And yes, it's a blatantly stereotypical "Comics for Chicks!" example that I chose for no reason other than it was easy.)

  9. They're only watching it for the hot guys?

    Iunno, I don't watch the telly.

  10. elayne -

    I disagree. At a minimum, Claremont's X-men run and Spider-man Loves Mary Jane both disprove the idea that it's somehow easier to do soap opera in the TV serial than it is in the comic serial. Both are full of soap opera, and X-men of the 80's especially seems to owe a lot to 70's daytime soap opera tropes.

    On the other hand, it is a LOT easier to get women to pay attention to your product when it is on TV (where they are already looking for entertainment) than when it is sold in tiny specialty shops run by and catering to men.

    Another data point in this is how sales of manga increased (especially among girls and young women) when they started to be carried by major booksellers. Stocking the books in a place where women shop led to more women buying the product without even having to dramatically change the product. (And it got to the point where they DID change the product by increasing their "shojo" imports, but that didn't happen until people started noticing "Hey, a lot of women are buying this stuff".)

    This shouldn't be that hard to figure out -- women have been as large a demographic of fans of the fantasy genre in prose fiction as men have (arguably larger), and superheroes are as much fantasy as they are anything else. Prior to Heroes I would point out Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show) as the example -- a show built on the superhero model that appealed as much to women as it did to men.

  11. Maybe people rely on personal taste rather than stereotype to decide how they spend their time.

    ...No, scratch that.
    NBC probably uses a very large margin of error.

  12. Uh, how does that say that there were *more* women watching?

    Also Heroes is a pretty far way from being anything like Superhero comics.

  13. Mario -- Who said it was more? We were saying it was equal itnerest, which is what the demographics show.

    And you're making the same argument as Elayne. Please read Jer's point (two paragraphs above you) which addresses that argument.