CBS + Betty White + Hallmark = Boffo AARP Demo

Over the weekend, I wrote a column about how every network now has a hit show where the audience leans toward the geriatric, and yet very little is being done to address it.

On Sunday, CBS aired the latest “Hallmark Hall of Fame” movie — “The Lost Valentine,” starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Betty White — and the total-viewer numbers went through the roof, averaging 14.5 million in preliminary Nielsen estimates.

The 18-49 demo? Not so much.

The moral of the story? The networks can still pack in huge audiences, but they often need to reach out to people over 50 in order to do that. And since they can’t monetize those viewers, tubthumbing the 14.5 million people who watched “Lost Valentine” is kind of a false positive, especially since only about 20% of them fell within the 18-49 demographic.

Still, as my colleague Rick Kissell noted, it was quite a night for the newly ubiquitous Betty White, who picked up a SAG award for “Hot in Cleveland,” while notching the highest-rated Hallmark movie in four years.

And for Hallmark’s sake, I hope a lot of older women will head out to the stores today to buy Valentine’s Day cards.

 

 

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