Cable TV’s going to the guys. Cable networks have figured out the perfect formula for attracting male viewers and the advertisers who want to reach them: Just create reality shows that celebrate gritty, manly, blue-color jobs.
Some experts refer to these new shows as “testostero-reality” and chances are you’ve seen at least one of them. There’s “Deadliest Catch” – about fisherman off the coast of Alaska or “Swamp Loggers” – about loggers in North Carolina.
What do these shows have in common? Millions of men actually watch them. That’s no small feat when you consider that TV generally draws 33 percent more female viewers than male! In fact, throughout history, ratings have shown that the only times more men watch TV is if there’s news or sports on.
But nowadays, lots of men are making an exception to watch so-called “tough guy” shows about ice road truckers, professional exterminators, or pawn shop owners. Why?
Christo Doyle produces shows for the Discovery Channel. He says lots of men work in cubicles these days so watching these shows gives them a chance to “escape” and see what it’s like to work outdoors – braving the elements, and risking their lives.
Doyle adds that many of these shows offer encouragement to men who may have lost a job, or who are feeling down on their luck. His thinking is that most guys sitting at home aren’t going to relate to men with perfect teeth and six-pack abs – like the guys you see on “The Bachelor.” Instead, Doyle says most guys want to see other working-class guys who struggle each day to make ends meet. Simply put: Watching tough guy reality shows can make you feel like “a real man”.