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Gay couples watch TV like everyone else, but with more Drag Race

Nick Duffy April 18, 2019
RuPaul's Drag Race

TV rating breakdowns for the homes of same-sex couples have been released for the first time, revealing how much they love RuPaul's Drag Race.

TV rating breakdowns for the homes of same-sex couples have been released for the first time, revealing gay people prefer RuPaul’s Drag Race to Fox News.

Nielsen, which measures TV ratings in the US, released its first weekly breakdown based on data from same-sex couple households as part of an effort to better reflect LGBT+ inclusion in its sampling methods.

Same-sex couples have similar TV habits to overall audiences

The weekly breakdown, covering the week April 8-14, revealed that gay couples largely like to watch the same network TV shows as everyone else.

Same-sex couples watched many of the shows that made the overall top 10, including basketball championships coverage, The Voice, NCIS, Survivor, 60 Minutes and Grey’s Anatomy.

Overall top 10 Same-sex couple households
NCAA Basketball championships NCAA Basketball championships
NCIS Survivor
60 Minutes NCIS
The Code 60 Minutes
Blue Bloods Modern Family
The Voice The Voice
The Voice American Idol
NCAA Basketball championships Grey’s Anatomy
Survivor The Voice
Grey’s Anatomy The Goldbergs

There were some small variances.

Comedies The Goldbergs and Modern Family are popular with same-sex couples but do not appear in the overall top 10 list, while procedural police and military dramas Blue Bloods and The Code are popular overall but not with same-sex couples.

Gay couples prefer Rachel Maddow and RuPaul’s Drag Race to Fox News

There are more drastic differences between same-sex couples and overall viewers in the cable TV breakdown, though the Season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones dominates the week on both lists.

RuPaul’s Drag Race and spin-off Untucked are the third and fourth most popular cable shows for same-sex couples, despite not making the overall list.

While several editions of Fox News shows Hannity and Tucker Carlson make the overall top 10, zero make the rankings for same-sex couples. Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson both have a history of anti-LGBT comments.

Overall top 10 Same-sex couple households
Game of Thrones Game of Thrones
Break The Rachel Maddow Show
Break Untucked
Game of Thrones RuPaul’s Drag Race
Hannity Break
Masters Gold Tournament All In with Chris Hayes
Hannity The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell
Hannity Spring Baking Champion
Tucker Carlson Curse of Oak Island
Masters Gold Tournament Little People, Big World

By contrast, same-sex couples are significantly more likely to watch MSNBC shows, with The Rachel Maddow Show the second most-popular cable show among same-sex couple households.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD said: “We are at the highest levels ever reported for LGBTQ inclusion on television, and its important that we know American audiences are connecting with these characters and shows.

Drag Race Season 11 queen Yvie Oddly.
Yvie Oddly screams ‘orange alert’ on Drag Race. (Netflix)

“We appreciate Nielsen’s commitment to ensuring that LGBTQ people wherever they live and consume television are being counted– and that those numbers are being reported.

“GLAAD is proud to work alongside them as they continue to expand and enhance their capabilities.”

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