boston.com Arts and Entertainment your connection to The Boston Globe

Pop goes the world

One of the most obvious results of the simultaneous mushrooming and fragmentation of pop culture is that the most popular show on TV has become less popular, because the number of television channels has grown exponentially. Twenty-five years ago, TV's most-watched show -- ''Dallas" -- drew a 52 share, meaning 52 percent of the TV sets that were on were tuned to the show. Last season, the most-watched show -- ''CSI" -- drew only a 25 share. Here are more of the numbers that tell the story:

Audience share

1980-81, ''Dallas": 52

1984-85, ''Dynasty": 37

1994-95, ''Seinfeld": 31

2004-05, ''CSI": 25

Average number of TV channels

available to the average household

1990: 33

1995: 41

2000: 74

2004: More than 100

DVD releases

1997: 528

2004: 11,561

Music sales

1994: 715 million units

2004: 817 million units

Sources: Nielsen Media Research, Nielsen SoundScan, DVD Release Report

Message Board  What are your thoughts on the current state of pop culture? Is it too watered down, with too much to take in? What does pop culture say about our society as a whole? Share your thoughts. More:  Pop goes the world  Pop quiz
SEARCH THE ARCHIVES
 
Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives