Blood and gore don't always win the ratings wars.
- A recent study shows that viewers actually prefer nonviolent programming, even though they still want action.
- The researchers showed clips of five TV shows to participants, some with violence edited out.
- Gender, personality and other variables did not appear to impact the results.
February is sweeps month -- one of four times throughout the year that Nielsen checks in with Americans to find out what they're watching. The media research giant polls an enormous portion of the American television audience during these sweeps months -- February, May, July and November-- and the networks do whatever they can to attract as many people as possible.
If history is any guide, you can bet that there will be plenty of violence on the shows found on small screens in the country all month long.
But the networks vying for attention this month may want to take a look at a recent study out of the University of Indiana. Contrary to conventional wisdom and prior research, violence in television programs may actually decrease viewer enjoyment, according to the researchers. All of the casualties from explosions, gunplay and physical violence that appear prominently in many prime time shows might not be as attractive as producers think.