There was a story on NPR this morning about the rise in TV watching and how it is catching on around the world. I think most of us who were listening were all thinking the same thing, “Huh? Catching on? Umm, what does he mean ‘catching’ on?” The journalist was comparing TV to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. He was mostly pulling numbers out of 3rd world countries but still the idea intrigued me to do some research on my own.
I decided to try to find out what the most watched TV show in the world was and to my surprise it was Baywatch. (internal sigh) I was disappointed. It actually made the Guinness Book of World Records with over 1.1 billion viewers. I know that this has been played out in such movies as Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan when Borat came to New York and while in his hotel room stumbled upon a Baywatch episode with Pamela Anderson. He thought this was the best show ever. I wonder if that is because people in other countries visualize America to be like that of a Baywatch setting? (which is disheartening) Maybe Hollywood has painted a picture that America can only deliver on the silver screen. Long strips of sunny beaches with beautiful people running around doing fun things while looking beautiful and half-naked, yeah that only exist in the movies or on Baywatch.