TV Ratings Keep Getting Uglier

One of the questions I’ve been asking myself as the economy became hyper-critical this month is: how will the jitters affect the world of entertainment? The conventional wisdom during the Great Depression was that people turned to comedy and romance to take their minds off bad news. By that measurement, television comedies should be experiencing a boon. However, this week’s ratings for new episodes of “The Office” and “Ugly Betty” were down (by 6% and 15%, respectively) from their premieres last year. The only thing that’s holding up on TV is football — and, of course, significant events in the Presidential campaign. (I suspect that ratings for tonight’s Obama-McCain face-off will be pretty whopping.)

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