Study finds conventional wisdom about what TV Republicans, Democrats watch

Comedian Stephen Colbert (L) listens as colleague Jon Stewart speaks during the 'Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear' on the national Mall October 30, 2010 in Washington, DC. Tens of thousands of people streamed into the US capital Saturday for the rally hosted by liberal comics Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, billed as an antidote to the ugly political mood dividing the US three days before mid-term elections. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI
Stephen Colbert, left, and Jon Stewart, right.

Conventional wisdom would have you believe that viewers of Comedy Central's "Daily Show with Jon Stewart" are almost all liberals.

Now, a new study shows that there may be something to that.

According to a survey prepared for Entertainment Weekly by the consumer research company Experian, Americans' partisan preferences don't end with their thoughts on how to best fix the economy: Democrats and Republicans also watch very different television.

The report, which measures the favorite and least favorite television programs of self-described "liberal Democrats" and "conservative Republicans," finds that Democrats trend toward more "sarcastic" fare, while Republicans go for "serious work-centered shows" and reality competitions, according to EW.

Not infrequently, a show beloved by one party is reviled by the other.

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and the "Colbert Report" - both comedy news programs on Comedy Central - topped liberals' lists of favorites. Republicans, on the other hand, named both shows among their least favorite programs (second only to "Weeds," a dark comedy about a droll, marijuana-dealing matriarch).

Meanwhile, "Swamp Loggers," a Discovery channel show about "swamp loggers working the murky, dangerous swamps of North Carolina in search of high value timber" - was conservatives' top TV pick. Democrats named it their least favorite show.

According to the survey, shows that skew female tend to do better among Democrats; male-friendly programs, on the other hand, are higher-performing among Republicans. Comedies were also a Democratic favorite: "30 Rock," "Parks and Recreation," "Modern Family," "Glee" and "It's always Sunny in Philadelphia" also topped the liberal list. ("The View" scored high, too.)

For Republicans, History channel shows were disproportionately high-achieving: in addition to ABC's "The Bachelor" and "Castle," several History shows made the GOP top 10 list - including "Top Shot," "Only in America With Larry the Cable Guy," "American Pickers," "Pawn Stars," and "Swamp People."

Again reinforcing conventional wisdom, Republicans prefer "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno"; liberals, on the other hand favor "The Late Show With David Letterman."

Read the full results here.