CBS 'Comfort Food' Wins Over Younger Viewers

Though all networks see viewership dip, Eye boasts much smaller slide
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2008 12:39 PM CST
Kyle Bornheimer, right, is shown in a scene with Erinn Hayes, left, and Nancy Lenehan in the wedding woes comedy "Worst Week," a series CBS' Les Moonves admits "probably won't win any Emmy awards."   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – CBS isn’t supposed to jockey for the much-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic—it’s supposed to be the network of cop shows starring 50-year-olds. But it’s creaming its rivals during the fall TV season, the New York Times reports, and exec Les Moonves has a theory: “comfort food.” Moonves thinks his network’s simple diet of cop dramas and traditional sitcoms is just what audiences want in times of crisis.

But CBS is only succeeding in contrast to its rivals, which have lost even more viewers. Part of that is because CBS recovered quickly from the strike, Moonves says, but other networks point to DVR viewings and boosted cable ratings to explain their slides. “The economy and the election are the two most important shows in America right now,” an NBC co-chair notes.