Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, May 22, 2021

Even I cannot avoid the cultural black hole that is “American Idol”. Solely through media-consumption osmosis, I know — just like you do, admit it — that 25-year-old David Cook is this season’s big winner.

What I did not know was that Cook probably owes his victory to the show’s strong middle-aged (and up) women viewers, who consider him to be safer sexual-fantasy material than boyish-looking runner-up David Archuleta.

Apparently these women weren’t just smitten with a younger man, they were motivated, too: In a landslide victory, Cook, from Blue Springs, Mo., beat Archuleta by a margin of 12 million votes out of the record 97.5 million cast by viewers.

“American Idol” had slipped in the overall ratings this season, but Wednesday’s finale was seen by 31.7 million people — about a million more than the year before, according to Nielsen data — suggesting the show swiftly gathered momentum after it boiled down to man vs. boy.

And the biggest viewer erosion in season seven was right in Archuleta’s voting bloc. Ratings fell 18 percent among women aged 18-34; and 12 percent among teenagers 12-17. Also apparently in Cook’s favor: Viewership has risen among people aged 50 and over, and the median age of an “Idol” viewer, once in the mid-30s, is now up to 42.

You can bet FOX wasn’t envisioning a mommybopper demographic when it originally greenlighted this show. Far from embracing it, they’ll be retooling the talent-herding process during the summer in an effort to lure back the youngsters.

Here’s some first-hand MILF idolation for Cook. Look for the backlash at that and similar URLs this time next year, when all the love from Season 7 is spurned.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/22/2008 11:08:32 PM
Category: Reality Check, Women
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There is a definite bright side to the news that LifeLock CEO Todd Davis had his identity stolen, in direct contravention to his I-dare-you marketing tactic of advertising his personal Social Security number on a mobile billboard:

It means this budding staple of hokey low-rent TV commercials should get quickly snuffed out, sparing my eyes from coming across it another 15 million or so times.

Davis is issuing the proper spin in blaming the agencies on the other end of the process for not having more stringent screening processes. But that only highlights how useless LifeLock is to begin with: It only works if all sides agree to funnel ID information through the big credit bureau clearing houses. And even then, it only acts as middleman by forwarding on the ping. No value added at all.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/22/2008 09:01:44 AM
Category: Business, TV
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