The All-Important 18-to-24s

The 18-to-49 American TV demographic is “the single most important factor in determining what we see, hear and read. Appealing to young adults and trend-setting teenagers in an effort to sate ad buyers has promoted numerous media trends, among them the proliferation of so-called reality television, since the genre disproportionately attracts them; the 1990s surplus of yuppie-something sitcoms; news channels streaming text up, down and sideways; and even shorter newspaper articles, usually accompanied by pictures the size of a cantaloupe. Now, beyond tailoring sitcoms and dramas to a younger crowd, news coverage increasingly reflects this infatuation, from model-like anchors to gee-whiz graphics that translate the war into video-game language for those conversant in Nintendo and PlayStation.”