Why are TV shows so popular

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From trend research: What is particularly popular with young people?

According to the JIM study, half of the young people surveyed between the ages of 12 and 19 watch television every day. About every second young person has their own television, but online platforms are also gaining popularity. Two thirds of young people use the online portal YouTube or the streaming services Netflix or Amazon Prime to watch series without time restrictions on their computer or smartphone.

If you look at the channels, ProSieben was named by 14.8 percent of the participants in the JIM study as their favorite channel, followed by RTL with 14.3 percent. Other favorites are Sat.1 (10.2 percent), RTL2 (7.1 percent), ARD (5.8 percent), Nickelodeon (5.3 percent) and ZDF (5 percent).

A large number of these broadcasters now also offer video stores where episodes that have been missed can be watched for a week after they have been broadcast. The TV Now media library offers programs from RTL, RTL2, VOX, RTL-Nitro, Super RTL, n-tv, RTL-plus and TOGGO plus, and ProSieben has the option of watching videos, Sat1 and Nickelodeon also have their own media library.

The favorite genres of young people, separated by gender, are soaps, casting shows, sitcoms and docutainments with girls, with boys sitcoms, crime novels, cartoons and casting shows are best received. The favorite genres are also reflected in the favorite series: in 2016, the casting shows were for girls Germany's Next Topmodel and Germany seeks the superstar as well as the soap Good times Bad Times and the scripted reality format Berlin Day and night the most popular, with the boys, came the cartoon The simpsons as well as the American sitcoms The Big Bang Theory, Two and a half men as How I met your mother best at.

Why are these formats so successful with young people?

Casting shows in particular are still very popular with young people, even after years of running. The most famous and popular casting shows, Germany seeks the superstar and Germany's Next Topmodel, show how the participants try to get closer to their dream, a career as a singer or model. The fascination here lies in being happy when the favorite candidate gets further, "blaspheming" the unsympathetic participants and discussing the jury's decision, often also on the following day at school. Despite the success of the casting shows, the majority of young people are not interested in participating. In a survey in 2012, only 20 percent of the participants between the ages of six and 17 said they would like to take part in a casting show.

Other formats that are trendy with young people are I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here as The Bachelor. The broadcast I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here makes fun of rather unknown celebrities who live for two weeks in the Australian jungle and have to pass the so-called, often disgusting, "jungle exams" there. This is exactly where the incentive for young viewers lies: The program breaks taboos and that is precisely what makes it so interesting and sets it apart from the other programs, which are perceived as rather boring in comparison. Especially because of the funny comments of the two moderators, the pity for the celebrities is limited and the glee can be enjoyed.

In the show The Bachelor, which by the way has almost exclusively female fans, is about a bachelor who is looking for his chosen one from several women. Every week he gets to know the women better on various, extraordinary dates and at the end of the week decides on one or more women to leave the so-called “Night of the Roses”. The motivation to watch this TV show, similar to casting shows, is to guess who wins, to analyze the show, to make fun of the women on the show and to enjoy and witness the romantic dates.

The consequences of watching TV

Television is part of the life of young people, but excessive use of television can have negative consequences. According to a study carried out by Leuphana University Lüneburg, there is a connection between television consumption and school satisfaction: the more the subjects in the study watched television every day, the more dissatisfied they were with their school performance. And in the case of intense showers, i.e. young people who watch TV for more than six hours a day, TV consumption has a clear influence on the desire to attend school: around 40 percent said they had a pronounced reluctance to attend school. For adolescents who watched television for less than two hours a day, it was only 10 percent. Although the number of friendships is not related to media consumption, there is a connection between physical inactivity and media use: the majority of physically inactive students are intensive users.