Getting Naked in Public on the Subject of Bones’ TV Ratings

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Dianne, whom I call my Bosom Buddy and one of my three alter egos, has been urging me to get naked in public about #BONES’ Ratings. Um, I mean, to pimp my opinions all over the free world. Why? Because, dammit, I have some opinions and you are entitled to hear them.  So … this actually does feel a bit like getting naked in public. Do me a favor and pretend to be an Emperor imagining I’m dressed, head to foot in Prada.
#Bones Fandom … At the risk of preaching to the choir … (Yep, I cyber-see y’all nodding) … I offer this in regard to the meaning and significance of the recent ratings of Monday night’s premier episode of Bones:

1) Ratings are only as good as the data collection strategy. Sampling only 25,000 homes with televisions is statistically insignificant for a population of 115,000,000. Nielsen ratings exclude most all other avenues of viewership including DVR, TiVo, Smartphones, tablet computers, live-streaming, and repeat watches. Why is this significant? Because the bulk of my Bones friends fit the demographic of being between 18 and 49 years of age and we didn’t watch it live. We were busy serving family meals, helping kids with homework, and tucking them into bed at 7PM when the show aired here in the Central United States. So … we all set it up to be recorded! I don’t have a single friend who hasn’t watched it again at least once, many of us are on the 3rd or 4th viewing.

2) A HUGE proportion of the viewing population falls outside that 18-49 age range. Presidencies have been lost because campaign manages failed to capture the attention of people they assumed wouldn’t vote. Broadcasting Networks and advertisers fail to consider the largest viewing demographic because they still think people over 60 are more like Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies rather than Martha, Richard Castle’s sassy savvy mom on that eponymous returning series.

There are currently 76 million Baby Boomers who:

A) watch more television than any other age group,
B) are not as attached to brands as was once predicted,
C) purchase approximately 43% of all domestic cars, 48% of all luxury cars, 80% of all luxury travel, more than 25% of all the toys sold, 25% of all alcoholic beverages, and more health and personal care products than any other age group (not that those are related … or are they? Can you say VIAGRA?)

In addition, and perhaps more importantly,

D) they are living longer and enjoying better health and
E) their values are changing from group to individual development, from products to services and experiences.

Are you listening, advertisers? Perhaps you should take the budget line on on your Sage50 or QuickBooks Pro balance sheet and pour it into cyber-tracking devices!

And what would the prime time over 65 viewing public tell us if they were asked their opinion? What I am hearing from my mature readers is that they want more out of their last thirty years than their parents had. They want to enjoy the spoils of all their hard work … they demand more from their entertainment … and they want sizzle, intrigue, intelligent dialog, romance and sex … really good sex (read ‘sexual tension’ in regard to prime time tv, of course). Why not? Shake it till you break it, right? These days people aren’t breaking it nearly as early in life as their predecessors did so they’re getting more use and enjoyment out of their … um … box springs and plushly-carpeted living room floors.

What does this mean? It means they want sexy, provocative, intelligent entertainment … like Bones, and NCIS, and Castle … and more mature from their movies like they got in Hope Springs, Something’s Gotta Give, Mama Mia, The Devil Wears Prada, and It’s Complicated. Heck, they even want more Best-Sellers like Fifty Shades of Gray. (Sorry Mom, your secret is out. You can stop hiding that thing under your mattress!)

And, 3) Popularity is a marathon, not a sprint. The premier was a teaser, a hook, for the next episode of the season. Some people weren’t happy that Brennan left Booth standing in the street in the Season 7 finale. I, for one, thought it was brilliant, gutsy, and believable … for both the character of Temperance Brennan and for the writers who came up with the idea. I was never concerned that it would end their relationship or put Booth on the warpath like Wile E. Coyote chasing the roadrunner. However, some disagree and jumped ship. Granted, last season was a toughie. Lots of challenges. But for all they had to overcome – pregnancy, time gap, relationship fleshing-out – they did it, perhaps not always with as much grace or panache as we would have liked, but with loads of aplomb and moxie. 

So, is there room for Bones-like tv. Most definitely yes. Will it happen this year or next … in time to keep this duo on the air with original programming? Well, that’s anyone’s guess. It does mean a wealth of opportunities for leading men like David Boreanaz, however. (Yay!)

For the marathon of public opinion we watch NEXT WEEK’S ratings. Ratings will still be gathered in the same imperfect way … however, word will have gotten around. Those who left in speedboats last year may come back to #Bones – perhaps in a wobbly canoe or paddle boat … but those who have loved Bones will not be able to resist. So – we watch for next week, and the week after that, and the week after that.

It has already begun, folks. That’s my opinion and you’re welcome to it.

Sincerely, A Forever Bones Fan,

Catherine Cabanela
@MoxieGirl44 on Twitter
Writer, The When and the How: A Bone to Pick


About Catherine Cabanela

BuddyTV Writer with an MBA in marketing and an undergraduate in writing and foreign language, I spend my time writing, tweeting, aggressively pursuing new social media strategies, writing, co-parenting twins with my husband, and reading everything I can get my hands on. All at the same time. Oh, and writing. Former ScreenSpy Critic for Bones, Revenge, Covert Affairs, and Motive. Fiction: "The When and the How: A Bone To Pick"
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3 Responses to Getting Naked in Public on the Subject of Bones’ TV Ratings

  1. Jane says:

    Perfect review. I agree with you, especially as one of the ones that last year went out of the 18-49 bracket. I’m still here and I’m still watching!! @jcbflyer19 on twitter


  2. Diane Wesley says:

    Very well written. I am in the 50+ demographic and you are spot on. All ages love and watch Bones. Most of my viewing is from DVR. I watch it over & over and slow mo some scenes. Bones has ot all – awesome talent – humor – drama – intelligence – I could go on and on. Thank you Moxie for such a thought provoking informative article. I hope you continue to post your reflections.


  3. Amanda Hansen says:

    This review is sharp, intelligent and on target. Catherine is correct in her estimation of Bones. This crime/drama is intelligent, fun and well acted, written and delivered. My grandchildren who are able to watch this show love it. My friends teenagers watch this show. The out of date way of getting ratings is also an issue that they need to update. Thanks for the great review.


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