TV 101

This is the simplified version.

TV networks are for profit corporations.  The bottom line is what drives them.

They look at income minus costs to get their profit. 

Where do they get the income?  From ad revenue - the commercials shown during the episodes.

What drives ad revenue?  The ratings.  That's the purpose of the spring kick off sessions for fall shows.  The networks are trying to get the advertisers to buy time on their shows.  I won't go into detail of how that arrangement works such as paybacks if the show underperforms what the network sold, etc. 

Now we're to Nielsen and the ratings.  There are reportedly 25,000 or so Nielsen households in the country.  Nielsen projects the national viewership from that small sample.  Only the viewers who are contracted such as those with Nielsen boxes or the paper reports are counted.  People who are counted for ratings will know this and will have signed contracts or have a letter.  The rest of the people may watch or not watch and will not affect the ratings one way or the other. 

That's it.  Blogs do not figure into the decision of keeping a show on the air.  What feeds the ad price is the rating and/or demographic the company wants to reach.  The rating of the demographic or demo that the company buying the ad time wants to pitch to is usually the driving force. 

So talk or watch or not and it affects the equation not at all unless you are being counted.  What are the odds that this blog is driving dozens of Nielsen families to watch a particular TV show?  I'd say somewhere between nonexistent and not at all.

The bottom line is if the ad revenue exceeds costs then TLC makes a profit.  If costs exceed ad revenue, then TLC loses money.  If TLC is in a loss situation, the show is obviously ended.  If the show is making a profit but TLC thinks it isn't high enough or they think another show can make more, the show ends then also.   Kate currently stays on the air because at least through last season, the show must still have been making money for TLC.   Don't worry about the contract with Kate.  The networks have clauses to end unprofitable shows.

Someone asked what we are going to do to keep the blog going when Kate is gone.  We have no plans at this point to do so.  We have no desire to branch into other topics or shows just to keep the blog running.  We set up the blog to talk about the Gosselins because we could see that Television Without Pity was going to permanently lock the Gosselin thread soon.  We aren't blogging for the money.  We've never had ads and never will.  We aren't blogging for our own vanity and to get our writing out to the world or establish ourselves and the blog as a career move.  All of the mods have other things that have come up since the blog began that we'd rather be doing and spend most of our time on.  For those of you who want to discuss other topics or stay in touch there is an unmoderated Free Discussion blog that began as an off-shoot from Duggars Without Pity.  Please email me with any topics that you'd like to have there or send it through a comment on the Duggar blog.   Thank you for reading and may the show be off the air soon.