Nielsen Begins Tracking Same-Sex Couples’ TV Habits

The cast of ‘Murphy Brown’

For the first time ever, TV data tracking service Nielsen has begun to report the television viewing habits of LGBTQ Americans.

Working in conjunction with GLAAD, Nielsen is now measuring the viewing habits of households with same-sex couples, whether they are spouses or unmarried partners.

The first results show that what we watch varies a bit from the general television viewing audience.

For instance, the top four shows for all viewers for the week ending September 30, 2018, were:

1. Manifest (NBC)
2. The Big Bang Theory CBS)
4. This Is Us (NBC)

But, for same-sex households, the top four shows were:

1. Murphy Brown (CBS)
2. Manifest NBC)
3. American Horror Story (FX)
4. This Is Us (NBC)

S0, there’s some crossover in the Top 4s with Manifest and This Is Us, but things diverge from there.

The cast of ‘Manifest’

When it comes to the Top 20 shows preferred by same-sex households, eight shows don’t appear at all in the general viewers’ Top 20: Murphy Brown, American Horror Story, Modern Family, Mom, 9-1-1, Rachel Maddow Show, Grey’s Anatomy, Empire and Law & Order: SVU.

It’s easy to see why many of those are of interest to the LGBTQ community. Modern Family, American Horror Story, Empire and 9-1-1 all have gay leading characters. And Rachel Maddow is openly lesbian.

Conversely, some of the most popular shows on television like Blue Bloods, Bulland NCISdon’t show up in our Top 20.

According to USA Today, the new data collection is only including households with same-sex couples, not individuals, out of sensitivity to “privacy concerns.” Nielsen hopes to incorporate individuals eventually.

Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD’s president and CEO, said in a statement, “We are at the highest levels ever reported for LGBTQ inclusion on television, and it’s important that we know American audiences are connecting with these characters and shows.”

“We appreciate Nielsen’s commitment to ensuring that LGBTQ people wherever they live and consume television are being counted, and that those numbers are being reported,” she added. “GLAAD is proud to work alongside them as they continue to expand and enhance their capabilities.”

Here are the Top 20 television shows watched by households with same-sex couples for the week ending September 30, 2018 (via USA Today):

1. Murphy Brown (CBS)
2. Manifest (NBC)
3. American Horror Story (FX)
4. This Is Us (NBC)
5. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
6. The Good Doctor (ABC)
7. Modern Family (ABC)
8. The Big Bang Theory (special) (CBS)
9. The Voice (NBC)
10. Young Sheldon (CBS)
11. Mom (CBS)
12. 9-1-1 (Fox)
13. 60 Minutes (CBS)
14. The Voice (Tues) (NBC)
15. Young Sheldon (special) (CBS)
16. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC)
17. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
18. New Amsterdam (NBC)
19. Empire (Fox)
20. Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

What do you think, readers? Are your favorite shows in this Top 20?
(h/t USA Today)