With national unemployment at record levels, an economy seemingly reluctant to get out of first gear, and experts struggling to solve a foreclosure crisis, it may come as no surprise that Americans are watching more television. According to the Nielsen Company, we’re watching a lot more TV than we used to. Nielsen collects viewer data and television ratings, and says that the average American now watches about 34 hours of television on any given week.
Robert Thompson is professor of Radio, Television and Film, and Director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. He discusses America's continued enthrallment with the small screen, and whether or not sitting in front of the tube is our new national pastime.