Dave on Demand: A zip-code guide to TV viewership

Mackenzie Lintz and Colin Ford in "Under the Dome"

Does where you live determine what you watch on TV? Let's go right to the Nielsen numbers, shall we?

In poring over the latest ratings report for the five largest TV markets in the country, sharp differences in regional tastes emerge.

New York, for instance, is a cable town, with eight of the week's top 20 shows, a very high ratio, coming off the wire.

More telling, the city is crazy gaga about VH1 reality shows. Love & Hip Hop finished tied at No. 2, T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle landed at No. 7, and Marrying the Game came in tied for No. 14.

That's a remarkable showing considering that nationally, not one of these music-biz soap operas even cracked Nielsen's 50 most popular shows for that week.

Flavor Flav, the father of VH1's hip-hop reality slate, should consider running for mayor of New York.

Another Big Apple anomaly: AMC's Breaking Bad made the Top 5, the only major market in which it ranked so high.

The results in Los Angeles, the nation's second-largest TV market, are heavily accented. Three-quarters of the 20 most-watched shows, and eight of the Top 10, were in Spanish. It's the only big city in which Big Brother doesn't factor at all. Maybe CBS should change the name to Hermano Grande.

You want a Big Brother town? Go to the City of Broad Shoulders - Chicago. CBS's nasty antfarm nabbed No. 6 and No. 12 in the third-largest market.

And forget the blues. Chicago loves country music. The CMA Music Festival warbled in at No. 4, a far better performance than in any other big city, even Dallas.

That brings us to Philadelphia, a city that is inordinately fond of TNT dramas. Rizzoli & Isles finished tied for No. 5 and Major Crimes took No. 11, tied with (and make of this what you will) a rerun of The Big Bang Theory.

No Brotherly Love, however, for Walter White's rapidly unraveling criminal empire. Breaking Bad didn't even create a ripple in Philly.

Finally we have the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, where Duck Dynasty ruled the roost. In fact, the Robertson clan put on the most-watched program in the entire country for the week (followed by Under the Dome and the America's Got Talent results show, according to Nielsen data).

Like Los Angeles, Dallas is dominated by Spanish-language programming (eight of the top 20). But the Big D is unique in another, rather shocking way.

In all the other big cities, the top slot was pulled down by the local pro football team's preseason game (except in Los Angeles, which has no NFL franchise). In New York, the Giants drew more viewers than anything else on TV that week. Same with the Bears in Chicago. And with the Eagles in Philadelphia - only more so. The team's 8.1 hometown rating was higher than in any other major city, even Boston.

How 'bout them Cowboys? The broadcast of the team's near-shutout loss to Phoenix was nowhere to be found in the Top 20. There were, however, four baseball games in that group, including one Rangers matchup at No. 5.

So now I'm wondering: How can Jerry Jones' Spanglebots be America's Team when they're not even Dallas'?

Hear me now? Regular viewers of Breaking Bad probably sensed that things were going to get very ugly indeed in this week's episode, "Buried," when Lydia (Laura Fraser) went all the way out into the desert in her stylish Louboutins to complain about the quality of the meth being cooked by Declan (Motive's Louis Ferreira).

But what got me is that Lydia used her cellphone to signal Todd (Jesse Plemons), now a true exterminator. While she was in Declan's "lab."

Who's Lydia's carrier? She's getting reception in a school bus buried 20 feet underground in the most remote part of the American desert. I can't even get a signal in my downtown apartment!

What Philadelphia Watches

For the week Aug. 12 to 18

Local Rank     Show, Channel      National Rank   

1.   Eagles Preseason Football, 6ABC      -   

2.   Under the Dome, CBS3      2   

3.   60 Minutes, CBS3      7   

4.   America's Got Talent (Wed.), NBC10      3   

5. (tie)   Eagles Postgame, 6ABC      -   

           Rizzoli & Isles, TNT      -   

The country's most-watched show?

17.   Duck Dynasty, A&E      1   

SOURCE: Nielsen Co.


Contact David Hiltbrand at dhiltbrand@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @daveondemand_TV. Read his blog at www.inquirer.com/daveondemand.