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'Parks and Recreation's' audience is modest, but wealthy

October 19, 2013|By Ryan Faughnder
  • Amy Poehler stars as Leslie Knope in "Parks and Recreation."
Amy Poehler stars as Leslie Knope in "Parks and Recreation." (Tim Whitby / NBC )

"Parks and Recreation" may not have much to brag about in terms of audience size, but the cult-beloved NBC comedy can certainly point to one advantage: its viewers' paychecks.

Among the series on the four major networks this fall, "Parks" has the highest concentration of upscale young adult viewers.

In this context, "upscale young adult" means people in the 18-49 demo who live in households with yearly income of $100,000 or more. Three weeks into the fall season, "Parks and Rec" boasts a score of 171 on the upscale density index, for which 100 equals an average concentration of homes. That makes it the show with the audience that skews most toward upper incomes.

The first runner-up on the upscale concentration index is, unsurprisingly, the high-rated, Emmy-winning ABC comedy "Modern Family," which also has a much larger audience overall. On Wednesday, Phil Dunphy et al drew an average of 10.9 million viewers.  

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In the top 10 within this category, ABC also has "Nashville" and "Revenge." CBS is represented by "The Good Wife," "60 Minutes" and "the Amazing Race," while Fox has "The Mindy Project" and "New Girl." 

Another NBC non-sports show that leans toward the well-off is fellow Thursday night offering "Parenthood," which follows a family going through various emotional upheavals related to bringing up children. 

To be sure, while "Parks and Recreation" has a considerable dose of the moneyed demographic, the program has a relatively small pull with young adults in general. 

The antics of the local government workers in Pawnee, Ind., drew about 3.27 million viewers Thursday night and a rating of 1.3 in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 age demographic Thursday night, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen.

In other words, if you're one of the people who watch "Parks," you might be doing so on a pretty nice couch.  


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