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Used to love this show

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May 25, 2013, 11:49 AM
Used to love this show
Until I read that if your over 40 some years old you won't be selected. If you have noticed there are no shows with people 50 or over. This seems prejudice to me. We at 50 years old can still do the work and have friends to have grown kids with their friends. Just doesn't seem right to me.
May 25, 2013, 06:11 PM
It's all based on demographics and advertising - pretty much a rule carved in stone for any reality TV show. While no age group is totally eliminated, it will be rare to find homeowners in how-to shows who are outside the popular demographics. On the plus side, if you are in your late 20's to mid-30's and you and your significant other are a mixed-race couple, then you have a very good chance of getting in.

The bottom line for all TV shows is that they must draw in viewers to generate advertising and stay on the air. Because of this, demographics will far outweigh any other criteria for getting on a show. To be realistic, demographics count for over 99% - what remains is the type of project and where it is. How badly you need it done means just about nothing and is only good for some story-line points.

The demographic requirements are true for any reality or game type show. Years ago, when ABC was airing the original "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" show, the only way to get on the show was a phone-in trivia game. As WWTBAM was a trivia based game show, this made sense - you're good at trivia, you'll do well in the game, win lots of money and keep the show popular. But there was a hitch: Trivia is hugely popular with one demographic group - middle aged white males. After a while WWTBAM noticed that fully 75% to 80% of all contestants were MAWG's (middle-aged white guys). Sure, there were some female contestants, some who were younger and pitifully few minorities. Since advertisers drive what is paid for, something had to change. After a couple of years, the game show went to live auditions for it's contestants. You still had to pass a trivia test but then most of the MAWG's were weeded out while the chosen demographic people moved on. It is no coincidence in this particular TV game show that in the first couple of years there were 9 - 10 people who won the top prize of a million dollars. In over ten years since then, nobody has even come close - yet the show still stays on the air.

May 26, 2013, 03:42 PM
Yes most if not all shows aim for a group of young homeowners. Odd how they are all so lazy, not even able to cut the grass in their yards on one certain show. Thank the man upstairs for neighbors who will phone production companies to send a rehab crew !!! Just a bit of sarcasm in the direction of the TV world, not the homeowners. I could not care less about them if forced to.
Do what most do. Watch This Old House or its cousin Ask this Old House for real world situations involving families thankful for down to earth advise and knowledge. Watch the other shows for comedy relief...
I truly believe networks and sponsors are missing the message big time by not presenting more shows that appeal to an older market. {Nobody is getting any younger these days}.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,

Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
May 27, 2013, 07:25 AM
On a somewhat related note (Reality TV shows) Thom Beers of Monster House, Monster Garage and a bunch of other shows did a "Are you tougher than a Boy Scout" show this past year on NatGeo. I'm an early 50-something, Eagle Scout and former Scoutmaster who is still active in the program. I'm in much better shape than most of the guys they selected. My son and I did an 86 mile trek at Philmont last summer over 10 days. Yet, I'm too old for the show.

It stinks getting old but it does beat the alternative.

General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
May 27, 2013, 08:44 AM
if Walter Cronkhite came around with his resume today... war correspondent, UPI, radio, newspapers... and that pipe and white hair, he couldn't even get a job carrying camera cases on TV.

same for my dad.

same for me.

TV has long gotten past the point where it was three times a miracle to get the picture to stick to the back of the screen, and you wanted absolute pros at all points to slide viewers past the failures of the system. the showbiz aspect started to push the rest out hard in the mid 70s, when color became the norm, and stations everywhere had to swallow hard and find the half million bucks to do it.

now if you don't photograph well in HD, you're toast. any skill, any age.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
May 27, 2013, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by CommonwealthSparky:
Yes most if not all shows aim for a group of young homeowners. Odd how they are all so lazy, not even able to cut the grass in their yards on one certain show.

I truly believe networks and sponsors are missing the message big time by not presenting more shows that appeal to an older market. {Nobody is getting any younger these days}.

Well said and unfortunately so true. But it's not just the DIY shows; it's tv, movies, and of course corporate employment as well.

For whatever reasons, youth prevails.

And unlike other ethnic groups such as Asians and Native Americans which respect age and their ancestors, in this American TV culture there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in the older groups, except on RLTV and the Military Channel where age, service and accomplishments are respected.

I think some of the focus on youth is driven by the alleged characteristics of the so-called Millenium groups, some of whom are like those CS commented on, who seem to be lacking in many desired skills, including the basic knowledge of home ownership and yard maintenance.

I would consider to be in this category the youth who get degrees in low interest, low value majors but expect to get high paying jobs after graduation.

Whether the majority of them truly do have the Me Generation attitude is an interesting topic.

I think if young people don't learn from their families (and sometimes military service), they can end up in a position of looking to others for assistance in managing critical aspects of their lives.

One aspect I find missing, especially those who want it all now, is the knowledge of and respect for deferred gratification.

Most certainly these people don't represent the totality of young people; there are still those whose parents instill good values (like the children of the posters here Big Grin) . But there are also those who have grown up with nominal knowledge of self reliance. They're good subjects for the all encompassing makeover shows.

As to focusing on those of us who've been around the block a few times, I think there are so many older folks who have led such interesting and fascinating lives, who gave and continue to give to others. Other than on RLTV and PBS, I haven't seen much emphasis on this demographic group.

Off topic, during dinner time while my mother was in a nursing home recovering from a fall, one of the women who joined us began talking about her life in Czarist Russia, ending with a wistful observation that the Czar wasn't as bad as he was represented to be (particularly given what happened afterwards). How many people have this kind of experience? There are treasures in some of our older folks.

There is one DIY show, the name of which I can't remember, which focuses on a family rebuilding a large home after a fire. The man is in his 50's, in great physical condition, and doing a lot of the repair work himself. I think this is the only time I've ever seen anyone over 50 on a DIY show other than the TOH series.

America is missing a lot of advice, experience, tolerance, and other qualities by shunning the older generations.

Okay, Swschrad, you can come along and beat me on the head for going way off topic.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
May 27, 2013, 01:11 PM
So if this goes as I suspect, I am married and over 60. I have a 1/3 acre yard of dirt and sand and a pool that needs total attention...I am in the Palm Springs, CA area and have no idea of what to do...witout just hiring some stranger to sell me on his heroics in the landscaping business.
May 27, 2013, 02:08 PM
Fielding, I didn't intend to discourage anyone.

If this really is your situation, post in the landscaping or outdoor projects sections above and you'll get good advice. I think the posters here will offer better, and more realistic suggestions, than an over-the-top turnkey landscaping consultant.

Including photos would help a lot.
May 27, 2013, 03:32 PM
=> konk! <=

I think GardenStater is thinking of "Family Under Construction," first season. that gets rerun as often as commercials.

Holmes has had a number of gypped older clients on his shows, probably if you average up the ages of everybody's disasters he profiled, it would be 50-ish. but the homeowners flash by, the focus is on the nasty, the bad, and the unforgiveable hacks buried under deterioriating pretty long enough to cash the check. the geezer quotient has been low on subcontractors, save the ones who were arguably in a class by themselves.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?