From ‘Modern Family’ to ‘Bob’s Burgers, Audience’s Wealth Varies

by | November 13, 2013 at 10:34 AM | Bob's Burger, Modern Family, TV News

Eric Stonestreet in "Modern Family"; "Bob" on "Bob's Burgers" (Photos: ABC, Fox)

By Tony Maglio

The Dunphys of “Modern Family” might not eat at “Bob’s Burgers” — and fans of the shows might not eat at the same restaurants, either.

The two comedies are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of their average viewers’ median incomes. The median “Modern Family” viewer in the 18-49 demographic rake in $81,100 annually, according to Nielsen data. “Bob’s Burgers” watchers in the demo, on the other hand, earn around $48,000 per year.

Also read: Why ‘SNL’ May Never Be This White Again

Neither are particularly rich or poor — but the ratings company carefully tracks even minor differences in wealth because advertisers want to wring as much as they can from the people who watch their shows.

TheWrap found the gap between ABC’s “Modern Family” and Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers” by looking at Nielsen’s average median income of primetime viewers this season for the four biggest broadcast networks — not including sports, specials, or awards ceremonies.

Watch a recent episode of “Modern Family”:

In second place in terms of wealth are viewers of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” who have a median income of $81,000 per year. Fans of CBS’s “The Amazing Race” are third, with a salary of $75,700.

Also read: Nielsen Taking Next Big Step to Incorporate Mobile-Device Viewing Into TV Ratings

That means ABC, NBC and CBS are sharing the wealth with the top three shows, which also happen to be critical darlings.

“It’s not too surprising that higher income viewers are more likely to watch programs that are critically acclaimed and contenders for industry awards like the Golden Globes and Emmys,” Brad Adgate, senior vice president of Research at Horizon Media, told TheWrap.

Watch a recent episode of “Bob’s Burgers”:

Advertisers focus on the 18-49 demo because they hope to land lifelong customers early. But people tend to hit their peak income in their mid-50s, Adgate said.

Also read: Network Execs Explain Which Ratings Matter — And Which Don’t

“If you have, say, a show that’s really young and really upscale, then you have something,” he said.

“The West Wing” had the highest median income Adgate could recall. Shows on cable, especially premium cable, and Netflix tend to have wealthier audiences — since their viewers must be able to afford to watch them.

The new fall show with the highest median income is “The Goldbergs,” at $73,900. “Very rarely does a first-year show command the ad value of a (longer-running) show,” Adgate said.

Also read: 17 Breakout Stars of the Fall TV Season

Viewers of the doctor-centric “The Mindy Project” (right) have a median income of $73,800. Another medical drama, “Grey’s Anatomy,” may not have as many rich doctors among its fans — it has a median viewer income of $70,500, putting it in 18th place.

“Mindy,” which has the seventh-wealthiest audience, is Fox’s top-ranker in terms of well-off viewers.

A little further down the list is “Shark Tank” — a show about venture capitalists vying to invest in start-up companies. It’s in 16th place with $70,800.

Now for the shows you probably shouldn’t mention on a first date with a gold digger.

Also read: 20 Shows Not to Miss, From ‘Mom’ to ‘Dads’

Animated shows — including “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and the aforementioned “Bob’s Burgers” — have among the least wealthy audiences. That makes sense, Adgate says, because cartoon viewers skew younger.

Other shows on the low end of the list are Fox’s “Bones” ($56,600) and CBS’s “Undercover Boss” — a show in which well-off executives perform menial, low-paying but necessary tasks ($55,800). “America’s Funniest Home Videos” viewers have a median income of $54,700.

Read the full list here.

READ MORE AT THEWRAP.COM.