Howie done for?

According to Bill Gorman and Robert Seidman at the  indispensible website,, the show Howie Do It is the least DVR’d show for the week for adults 18-49. 

Oh, the shame of it.  I wonder if this will become a new measure of ignominy, certain proof that a show has missed the beating heart of contemporary culture.

We can't tell whether this metric says that the Howie Do It audience doesn't have a DVR or can't figure out how to use it.  (The haters will insist on the latter.) 

But either way, it's not good.  These days there is no stigma more damaging than the one that attaches to the non-digital.  This really is a world detached from contemporary culture and now spinning out of orbit into, block this metaphor, the icy reaches of deep space.  More bluntly, all audiences are not equally welcome.  In the non-digital case, there will be many advertisers who don't want them, and there will be some networks don't want the advertisers that do.  As DVR adoption rises, this measure will become ever more damning. 

But on closer scrutiny there is a strategic question here.  Does NBC say, listen, here's proof we should axe the show.  The demographics are antediluvian. 

Or do they say, "well, this may not be the most sophisticated audience on the planet, but at least they watch the ads"?

No doubt, they will say both: the latter for public consumption and the former inhouse. 


Gorman, Bill.  Howie Do It is the Least DVR'd Show For the Week.  May 6, 2009.  here

2 thoughts on “Howie done for?

  1. srp

    There’s a small literature in strategy about being “the last iceman” when refrigerators take over, etc. You can make a pile in declining or left-behind segments if the production capacity for serving them depreciates more rapidly than the segment is shrinking.

    In this case there is the added bonus effect, as you mention, that DVR users are almost certainly less ad-sensitive than non-DVR users. Remember how much more we used to watch ads before the spread of remote controls?

  2. Rick Liebling

    Grant, You’re missing one obvious answer: Howie Do It is so compelling that everyone chooses to watch it in real time.

    [Looks at ratings]

    Oh. Nevermind.

Comments are closed.