celebrating 20 years of FRONTLINE
the FRONTLINE audience
anniversary home
20 years / 420 programs
david fanning

» In an average week, more than 4.6 million people watch FRONTLINE. Among the 285 PBS stations airing FRONTLINE, there are 459 total weekly plays. (Source: Nielsen Television Index, October 2000 to February 2001)

» FRONTLINE's audience is primarily younger men and women aged 35-49: 22 percent of the audience are males in this age group and 18 percent are females. This skews younger than the average audience for PBS and the national demographics for news and current affairs programming, which is predominately older (55+) males and females. (Source: Nielsen Television Index, October 2000 to February 2001; Mediamark Research Inc., Doublebase 2000)

» FRONTLINE's audience tends to be affluent and well-educated. They are more likely to hold executive or professional employment positions than the general population and the average public television viewer.

» FRONTLINE viewers are social capitalists as PBS has defined them: Americans who are engaged in, contributing to, and participating in their communities. They are civic-minded and active in public affairs. In 2000:

  • 17 percent of FRONTLINE viewers wrote an elected official
  • 13 percent addressed a public meeting
  • 29 percent worked as a non-political volunteer
  • 9 percent participated in environmental groups and causes

» FRONTLINE viewers tend to enjoy non-fiction: 49 percent have purchased some non-fiction material in the past year, compared with 28 percent of the U.S. population.

Frontline stands alone on television as a place inquiring minds can go regularly for smart, tough documentaries...Los Angeles Times, October 2000 (reviewing Drug Wars)

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