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A disparity of tastes in U.S. households

December 30, 2006|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — As you sink into your couch to watch a favorite TV show this holiday weekend, take comfort in the knowledge that you're not alone. Nationally speaking, at least. Unity within your own home is another matter entirely.

A majority of Americans got hooked on a TV show this year, an Associated Press-America Online News poll shows. But some say they watch their favorite shows alone: Their spouse or partner is into much different fare.

Is it nature or nurture? All Betty Cave knows is that while she's into those attractive young doctors on "Grey's Anatomy," with their interweaving social and professional lives, her husband likes " 'Star Trek,' 'Battlestar Galactica' and some other things that I've never heard tell of.' " She often watches her shows, which she TiVos, at 5 a.m.

Most Americans felt there was nothing special about the shows out this year -- yet 58% said they got hooked on one. For women, the top show was "Grey's Anatomy," which often tops the weekly Nielsen ratings. For men, it was "House," with the curmudgeonly Hugh Laurie, on Fox. High on the overall list were "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "CSI: Miami."

That doesn't surprise Joe Vescera of San Francisco, a huge "CSI" fan -- "I've seen them all," he says. His wife, Monica, prefers comedies. He likes horror; she doesn't. "I tried getting her to watch 'Saw,' " he says. "She wouldn't." Instead, she watches ABC's "Ugly Betty," a hit of the new season. Vescera clearly doesn't love the show. "It's OK," he says, "but to me, it seems senseless, in a way." Luckily, he has a different work schedule from his wife, so their tastes can coexist easily.

That's not an issue for Deborah Martin, 23, of Lovingston, Va., and her partner, Joshua. "We like the same stuff," she says. After work, the two will often turn on "Heroes," NBC's new hit, or "Day Break," the Taye Diggs drama ABC has pulled from its schedule. "We enjoy sitting down, eating together and watching."

The telephone poll of 1,000 adults was conducted Dec. 12 to 14 by Ipsos, an international polling firm. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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