[Air-L] Family in the 21st century on TV

Mathieu O'Neil mathieu.oneil at anu.edu.au
Tue Sep 15 23:36:37 PDT 2009

Hi all

Interesting point about the atomised audience - there is however a whole genre of traditional family shows which seems popular still: semi-satirical cartoon universes (the Simpsons of course, and all the current imitators - Family Guy? - whose names elude me). Not sure about tech use in those shows but the Simpsons in any case seems to work at different levels for different audiences / age groups.


----- Original Message -----
From: Barry Wellman <wellman at chass.utoronto.ca>
Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 3:37 am
Subject: [Air-L] Family in the 21st century on TV
To: aoir list <ç>
Cc: jsreedy at gmail.com

> Thanks to all the folks who took the time to send me comments, 
> some widely
> inventive and some staying with the specs.
> I think Justin Reedy summed up the situation well -- see below --
> and then
> my comment after him.
>  Barry Wellman
>  _______________________________________________________________________
>   S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, 
> FRSC               NetLab Director
>   Department of 
> Sociology                  725 Spadina Avenue, Room 388
>   University of Toronto   Toronto Canada M5S 
> 2J4   twitter:barrywellman
> http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman             fax:+1-416-978-3963
>   Updating history:      
> http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php _______________________________________________________________________
> From: Justin Reedy <jsreedy at gmail.com>
> To: wellman at chass.utoronto.ca
> Subject: Re: Air-L Digest, Vol 62, Issue 13
> Hi Barry,
> I wonder if someone was suggesting the new incarnation of 
> Beverly Hills
> 90210? That show is just called "90210" --
> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1225901/
> BW: I agree, but I can't find it on Canadian TV now. (Global network.
> Where are you.
> I would also suggest Friday Night Lights (a real pip of a 
> show!), which
> features a husband who is a high school football coach, a wife 
> who is a
> school counselor and administrator, and a daughter who is a 
> student at the
> same school. I seem to recall them using cell phones to stay in touch,
> though more often that comes up after school hours, I think. 
> Also, there is
> a plotline at one point involving one student's dad serving in 
> Iraq, and
> trying to stay in touch with him via video chat.
> BW: Good idea. I'd also mention Gossip Girls, which has a few intact
> families.
> Hope this helps!
> -Justin Reedy
> Doctoral student
> University of Washington
> BW: As I've discussed with a few of you, the lack of family 
> shows (with
> real kids on them, and not almost 20s) and the lack of intact 
> families on
> major networks [I discount ABC Family because it is marginal and
> doesn't come to Canada anyway;-)], may reflect changing 
> demographics to
> some extent. Yet H-W marriages with children are still quite 
> prevalent.
> BW: What this exchange has led me to meditate on is that there 
> may be a
> change in marketing that is linked to changes in TV use.
> Family shows of a while ago were aimed at more-or-less the 
> entire family.
> But 92010 are not aimed at olde me (@66), children or anything 
> more than
> 20-30 year olds.
> I wonder -- and would love evidence -- if TV watching has become more
> personal TV watching instead of family TV watching -- so shows are
> narrowcasting their demographics much more. This would be true 
> if each
> sentient HHold member had their own TV, and if many folks were getting
> their TV fix thru downloads, podcasts, iPhones, etc. (I know I'm being
> quasi-redundant here).
> Anyway, that's my .02, and while I hope for evidence on the last 
> point,I'll move on and keep writing up the rest of the Networked 
> Family chapter.
> PS: As some have asked. I will not be at the AIR conference, 
> alas. I'll be
> instead at the Mobile Communications conference at Rutgers at 
> the same
> time, and also before that at the WIN (networked information) 
> conferenceat NYU. More than enough traveling and not enough 
> money for more.
> Thanks for listening. Barry
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Dr Mathieu O'Neil
Adjunct Research Fellow
Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute
College of Arts and Social Science
The Australian National University

E-mail: mathieu.oneil at anu.edu.au
Tel.: (61 02) 61 25 38 00
Web: http://adsri.anu.edu.au/people/visitors/mathieu.php
Mail: Coombs Building, 9
Canberra, ACT 0200 - AUSTRALIA

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