Is Girls Really a Show for Boys?

Illustration for article titled Is Girls Really a Show for Boys?

From the moment it debuted, Lena Dunham's Girls has been talked about as the show for this generation of women— er, girls, whatever. It was crowned the new Sex and the City, and blarbity blarbity blaaarb. But Vulture has done some impressive number crunching in cooperation with HBO, and it turns out that men are actually the show's biggest audience. It's weird, I know! A whopping 56 percent of the show's "linear" audience (which is anyone who watches an episode live or rebroadcast during the week or on a DVR) is male, and 22 percent of those guys are over 50. Either they're tuning in for the ladies (and their sometimes nudity), or they're sincerely interested in understanding more about the lives of this generation of wealthy white girls. It's anybody's guess.


Anyway, the other 44 percent of the linear audience is female, but it also seems that for whatever reason more women are watching it on demand than live. However, even considering those women, the audience still skews male. Also surprising is that the women who are watching have a median age of 43. In other words, ancient... Since race has been such an issue surround the show, you'll be interested to know that African-Americans make up 15 percent of the audience, and 10 percent are Latino. That's about the same numbers that other HBO shows like Veep and Game of Thrones pull in.

Of course, these numbers only convey people who are watching the show through HBO-sanctioned avenues. It's quite possible that the reason these numbers skew more male and older than you'd expect is because the people you'd expect to be the show's core audience—20-something girls—are too broke to afford HBO and are watching the show illegally online. Or maybe they're too busy to watch at all because they're out struggling to earn money and are spending their time making all of those life mistakes which seem horrible at the time but turn out to seem totally fun in retrospect.

More Boys Watch Girls Than Girls [Vulture]


Kat Callahan

Should I be watching it?