Survey: Viewers turning to nostalgic TV for comfort

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To mark the launch of Star on Disney+ on February 23rd, Radio Times has conducted a survey revealing how lockdown has impacted its readers’ TV viewing habits.

Over 6,600 TV fans from across the UK took part in the survey, sharing some of their memorable moments from iconic series such as Lost, Family Guy and Desperate Housewives which will all be available to watch on Star on Disney+.

More than a third of respondents (37 per cent) said their favourite thing to do over the third lockdown was watching more TV and movies, with 13 per cent enjoying reading more and 10 per cent using their time to exercise.

Readers revealed how their viewing habits have changed over the last twelve months, with three in five (60 per cent) watching more series and movies. People are watching an average of 31 hours of television each week with over a quarter (27 per cent) of those admitting they have been watching TV during the day when they should be working. Men are watching on average five hours more of television each week (30 hours) compared to women (25 hours).

As part of the survey, Brits were asked what classic television series that will become available on Star on Disney+ are their guilty pleasures. Desperate Housewives, Family Guy and The X-Files came in as the most popular, with 43 per cent revealing that they turn to a nostalgic series as it gives them comfort to watch something familiar.

Over the past few months, two-thirds of respondents said they had rewatched a TV series in lockdown (64 per cent). When asked what TV shows they would watch again The X-Files (12 per cent) and Family Guy (8 per cent) were revealed as the most popular.

Whilst reminiscing about the programmes they have watched, the most memorable moments from the shows were highlighted; for Lost, 29 per cent of people couldn’t forget the dramatic moment when the hatch was discovered, Susan locking herself out naked was the top scene that has stayed with Desperate Housewives fans (21 per cent) and the cool whip scene when Stewie puts too much emphasis on the ‘h’ and Brian loses his cool was rated the funniest moment in Family Guy receiving just under a quarter of the votes overall (24 per cent).

Tim Glanfield, Editorial Director, RadioTimes.com said: “In what has been a tremendously challenging year for so many, the British public have turned to television for solace, escapism, information and entertainment. The pandemic has accelerated the pace of change across much of the media landscape, with a boom in subscriptions to streaming services like Disney+ as people seek out the latest releases and find comfort in rewatching their favourite shows and films. And with many of us working at home with such a huge selection of content at our fingertips, the temptation to start watching when we’re meant to be working is obviously sometimes too much to resist.”


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