Parents Turn Off Sitcoms And Turn On Food Network

Parents are unhappy with television programming.

This may be a broad statement, but television statistics show that many parents of young children do not want their kids exposed to foul language, sex, violence, and other questionably moral behavior. That’s why many families have turned off the sitcoms and turned on the cooking shows.

Enter the Food Network.
A study done by Scarborough Research found that 39 percent of the Food Network audience has one or more children. This is a significant television statistic. Families really are tuning in to food.

It’s not only that families are tuning it; it’s that they value family time. Fifty-three percent of Food Network viewers polled say they think spending time with their families is a top priority, and that might be why 45 percent of Food Network viewers surveyed try to eat dinner with their families almost every night.

But are parents really all that unhappy with television?
According to the Parents Television Council, 75% of parents polled want more government enforcement of broadcast rules and 69% want higher fines for media companies. In another poll it was found that 68% believe the entertainment industry has lost touch with viewers and moral standards.

And if all those television statistics don’t depress you enough, it was found in 2005 that Desperate Housewives was the most popular show for children aged 9 through 12.

It’s true that parents, and all television viewers for that matter, may simply be intrigued by food television, without the guise of a dislike for lax broadcast regulation. Regardless, you can’t deny that the Food Network is gaining traction.

According to the Food Network website, the median age of its viewers is 45-years-old and the median income is $72,700. Seventy-four percent of viewers claim to have made five or more meals at home in the past week. Not a bad target for advertisers interested in capturing 40-something adults with children who prefer to make dinner and watch wholesome programming.

It’s not all demi-glaze and braising.
Some might think that avid Food Network viewers are interested in gourmet cooking and the latest food trends, but the above-mentioned Scarborough study found that the parents of young children who watch Food Network often purchase pre-made packaged foods.  For instance, 43 percent of families cooked a frozen pizza or other frozen product within a month of the survey. These families also reported buying packaged meats, cereal, and soup.


This is a guest post by Allison Murray. Allison recommends finding more great information on television statistics at

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