It doesn’t take Nielsen figures to guess that TV viewership increases when snowstorms hit areas of the country that aren’t used to it, but it’s nice that they confirm it. Pat McDonough, Nielsen’s senior vice president for insight and analysis, tells the Associated Press that the Jan. 10-13 storm, which blanketed a large section of the country including areas of the South, had a bigger impact on TV ratings than any other in recent history. Total viewership was up 8 percent compared to the same days in 2010. With schools closed, it’s no surprise the ages 2 to 11 and teenager demos saw big jumps – 18 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
As much of the country is buried again now, let’s share our best snowstorm viewing stories: Was there a show you got hooked on during a snowstorm? Was there a show you can’t believe you actually watched during a snowstorm? Have you done something insane during a snowstorm because you were desperate for at-home entertainment?
I remember back in 2004, I was with two friends in Cape May, New Jersey during an ice storm. The house we were at didn’t have cable, but it had a VCR, and I had brought VHS screeners of I Want to Marry Ryan Banks starring Bradley Cooper, Jason Priestley, and Emma Caulfield (still my favorite ABC Family original movie) and an upcoming episode of Chappelle’s Show (the one with The Racial Draft). Well, I think we watched Chappelle’s Show first, and the tape got stuck in the VCR. We had no business being on the road, but we were that desperate to watch I Want to Marry Ryan Banks that we drove to Blockbuster and had some high school kid help us get it out. (Pretty nice of him, looking back.)
Your turn. Can you top that?