Media Watch: Those Missing Young Men: A Network Mystery

Television loves a good mystery. The big one this fall is, Where have the young male viewers gone? While the prime-time audience has dropped overall, the falloff has been most drastic in the coveted 18-to-34-year-old male demographic: down 16% in prime time at ABC, 19% at CBS and 21% at NBC, according to figures from Nielsen Media Research. What's the reason? Theories have ranged from an influx of Hispanic men in the sample (see below) to soldiers being shipped off to Iraq (don't bet on it). Here's a look at the most likely theories:

THEORY NO. 1 Bad programs. Bad, at...

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