We may give The Young and the Restless showrunner Maria Arena Bell a fair bit of hell (I made a rhyme!) over some of her creative decisions at her family's soap, but the Socialite Showrunner is on the money regarding her views about the Nielsen ratings! In a recent interview with performance artist and one-time General Hospital guest star Kalup Linzy forThe Huffington Post, Arena Bell had this to say about the antiquated TV measurement system:
KL: With the cancellation of so many soaps recently, because of low ratings, "The Young and the Restless" has survived, being renewed through 2013. Do you think the Nielsen ratings are that accurate? I've always felt that the audience is larger than what the system accounts for. I also don't know if I fully understand how the rating system works. I know they focus on the age groups of 18-34 and 18-49. The other day I was thinking maybe they should adjust it and have the age group 16-65 become the new 18 to 49? Sixteen year olds can be savvy when it comes to television...they shop? Sixty-Five year olds may retire, but most are still active. Are there possibilities for the system to be adjusted?
MAB: There are more people watching than Nielsen would indicate because "The Young and The Restless" is one of the most popular shows on CBS.com so many are choosing to watch on line and we were the most popular show on Soap Net. So yes, people are still watching but on many different platforms and of course DVR has a huge impact in this genre. All of the age groups are devised to see who the consumers are in an ad generated genre, but I agree that we don't value some viewers enough, especially older viewers. I think they should look at those age groups.
For more of Arena Bell's chat with James Franco's BFF click here.