Semester Project: Advertising and Police Procedurals

This project focuses on the television subgenre of the police procedural.  Shows such as Law & Order, NCIS, Southland, CSI, and many others which are prime time dramas that dominate week night TV programming.  This programming is coveted by advertisers who want to reach a mass audience.  In 2010, more than 5% of cable TV and satellite viewers tuned in to CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Without a Trace.  Studies of TV programs and commercial audiences show that some programs maintain more of their program audience during commercial breaks because of the genre of a program.  The genre of the police procedural maintains a heavy program audience during commercial breaks.

This project focuses on themed and targeted advertising.  Advertisers are starting to show ads for services that cater to older people because the viewers who watch shows like NCIS and Southland are over 50.  The advertising market is changing for police procedural programming.


12: Democracy: Dreams of The Common Good

Deliberative democracy is a form of democracy in which deliberation is central to decision making. Deliberations are made among large groups and small groups and are an effective way to reengage people with civic life, give them a chance to voice their opinions in a meaningful forum, and learn about issues (Surowiecki 261). Deliberative democracy works through deliberative polling in which voters deliberate over issues the nation is facing and essentially govern themselves. Fishkin believes deliberative polling is a better reflection of what voters really think about national and state concerns and the lawmaking process.

Judge Richard Posner disagrees with Fishkin and deliberative polling. He believes that Americans are indifferent to cultural values, intellectual pursuits, and government matters. In his book he writes, “The United States is a tenaciously philistine society. Its citizens have little appetite for abstractions and little time and less inclination to devote substantial time to training themselves and less inclination to devote substantial time to training themselves to become informed and public-spirited voters.”

Is deliberative polling is beneficial and should it become common place in our society? I’m very gray on the matter. On one hand I believe that Americans are passionate about addressing the issues that they’re facing as citizens of the US, on the other hand I also believe that there are voters who are apathetic to the issues and would rather let an elected representative call the shots on the matters without taking their opinions into consideration.

Another form of democracy is representative democracy, in which people vote on a candidate and that elected politician represents the people and addresses the issues that they and the nation are facing. The Wisdom of Crowds was written when Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State, Colin Powell were still in office and Surowiecki argues that political elites such as them cannot see past their own ideology on state matters and will not take public interest into account.

In a representative democracy the elected officials are considered experts who will make informed decisions. The group of “experts” making these decisions is very small compared to the deliberation of the voters. Surowiecki believes that when you shrink the size of a decision-making body, you also shrink the likelihood that the final answer is right. Pg. 267 I agree with Surowiecki and believe that the majority rule of voters should decide lawmaking practices.

Surowiecki ends the chapter, saying that, “The decisions that democracies make may not demonstrate the wisdom of the crowd. The decision to make them democratically does” (Surowiecki 271). In my opinion this statement leads me to believe that Surowiecki is a proponent of deliberative democracy even though he feels it is unachievable because he thinks voters are not willing to devote their time and energy to deliberation.

Semester Project

The police procedural television genre is very popular in today’s society. These crime dramas garner viewership from multiple age groups. Thw police procedural NCIS is most popular with viewers over 50, a group that is less desired by many advertisers. The show received a 4.2 rating among the 18-49 crowd which made it a top 10 show for that week but the rating is nothing compared to 15.3 rating among people over 50. In numerical terms the show attracted 5.3 million viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 and 14.8 million viewers over 50. Police procedurals attract a diverse audience.

The following link is to a commercial that played online during the streaming of the Southland episode Community. This commercial about becoming a police chief to help your community is very fitting to the show’s premise and was strategically aired during this show that is based on the lives of police officers.

The Right to have Health Insurance

As a young adult I value ObamaCare’s policy on health insurance for young adults under 26.  When you are a dependent on your parent(s)’s health insurance policy once you reach 18 you will only remain on the policy if you are a full-time student.  Not all high school graduates will choose to go straight to college and they may not be able to get a full-time job with health benefits at 18 years of age.  ObamaCare allows me to remain on my father’s health insurance policy after I graduate in May.  I and millions of other American college graduates will not have to worry about whether or not they are going to have health insurance after they graduate.

The economy is dwindling right now and the chances of getting a job with health insurance benefits right after graduation is not a guarantee.  Before ObamaCare I would have to pay for health insurance privately which is prohibitively expensive for a young adult with limited financial resources.  There are a slew of medical treatments that are not options for people without health insurance in the United States.  For example, nearly half of all Americans take prescriptions drugs to treat chronic medical conditions, a medical treatment that is unattainable without health insurance.  A very significant amount of young Americans take medication in order to be healthy and functional.  Prescription drug coverage has always been an issue in the United States as some Americans have gone through leaps and bounds to get their medicine such as crossing the border into Canada to afford their medication and elective medical procedures.

The Affordable Care Act requires that all Americans purchase health insurance if they don’t have health insurance benefits from their jobs.  A significant amount of Americans find this unconstitutional.  On the other hand the government is making companies provide their employees with health insurance benefits so that all Americans can have affordable health care.  Taxes have increased and they are forecasted to increase even more with this new policy.  The Affordable Care Act is expensive but very beneficial to our generation and I do not believe it is unconstitutional.

Research Paper Proposal

          I am going to write my paper on the television genre of legal drama.  My paper will analyze these popular TV shows in depth.  I will obtain statistics on the show’s viewers, who they are, their age, sex, annual incomes etc.  I will compare these data to the content of the advertisements that play during the shows’ programming.  I will do background research on the shows’ histories since first being aired.  Based on the data that I obtain I hope to define target audiences for each show and discover how advertisers utilize this information for successful advertising. 

Semester Project Proposal: Update 3/21

For my semester project I am going to analyze TV crime dramas and the commercials that play during their programming.  I am going to make a slideshow of the ads that play during the shows airtimes and portray the networks’ rationales behind what products and services they are choosing to advertise during their crime dramas.  I will collect data on the demographics of each show’s viewers and see how they relate to the ads that play during the shows.  Through my analysis I will be able to show how advertisers pick target audiences and why.

Semester Project Proposal

For my semester project I am going to analyze television police dramas.  Programming which has become very popular in the United States over the last twenty years.  I am going to examine the language that is used on the shows, the actors’ characteristics and traits, and the themes and under-lying messages of each show.  I will pay close attention to the commercials that play in between the shows’ air times.  I’ll examine the types of commercials that play to see what their connection is to the TV shows and look for correlations between the commercials and the televised programs.  I’ll pay attention to the types of commercials that play, what products are advertised and if they relate to the shows’ content.  The television police dramas that I am going to analyze are TNT’s Southland, re-runs of Law & Order and NBC’s Law & Order: SVU

Anonymous Commenting

          You thought you were commenting anonymously but you were not.  The end of anonymous commenting means a lot to blogs in which authors write something that is very opinionated and critical.  Bloggers don’t always want what they say to be able to get back to them.  They want to voice their thoughts and opinions without potential reprimand.  The invention of an algorithm which analyzes word choice, punctuation and grammatical sentences and has a 20% chance of identifying the authors of written work is a powerful tool.  Oppressive governments like China can use this algorithm to identify any online dissenters and bring them up on criminal charges.

         On the internet today there is lots of hurtful blogging and commenting that has a negative impact on Americans’ mental states of being.  This algorithm creates accountability for online commentators who make malicious and provocative posts that incite other bloggers and those who are negatively mentioned in their anonymous comments.  This tool will make authors think twice about the topics they comment about and what they say in their comments.  Identifying anonymous commentators can be beneficial depending on the subject matter of the comments.  If comments of a very serious nature are being made it would be beneficial to find out who is making them.  This kind of accountability can prevent problems between bloggers from occurring or worsening.  I think this algorithm will benefit American society.  We live in an age of accountability and big brother is always watching.      


Jeremy Lin, a skilled Asian-American basketball player is receiving tons of media coverage for playing remarkably well after being a benchwarmer.  The headline “amasion” by The New York Post in reference to Lin shows how hung-up American society is on race.  Lin’s characteristic that is most visible to the media is his race.  The media should talk about his skill at basketball as much as they talk about his being Asian-American.  Journalism in all its forms targets what about the subject of a story is unordinary.  Jeremy Lin’s being an accomplished Asian-American basketball player is unordinary for the NBA.  This theme can be seen throughout media coverage of people who are minorities.


Virtual Pacifism and Young Gamers

               Virtual pacifism sends a good message to young kids that violence is something that should be avoided.  Many young kids play mature rated videogames that are filled with intentional onslaught.  Young children should not play mature rated videogames especially those that aren’t virtually pacifistic only because it tells them that malicious violence is acceptable.  When I was 12 I played a game called State of Emergency where the point of the game was to go to a public place such as a mall and go on a rampage and start beating people with a bat.  It is sad for me to say that the game was very entertaining.  If a kid with a propensity towards violence played this game they would be negatively influenced to think that real world violence is ok.

                Grand Theft Auto III is similar to State of Emergency where players commit acts of violence not in defense of their country or another just cause but for personal gain.  Though these games send a very bad message I do believe that if a person is of age it is acceptable for them to play the game.  I strongly believe in videogame ratings.  Virtual pacifism is not present in Grand Theft Auto III or State of Emergency.  The issue is whether a child who is playing these games can distinguish between what would be right and wrong in the real world.  A 1% tax on violent videogames is not necessary.  People who are of age to buy these games should not be penalized for wanting them.