A Nielsen Family

A Nielsen Family



My portal to the world!
My portal to the world!


There comes a time in life when you have power.

When your decisions influence a nation.

When late-night snack runs mean MORE than just adding to your waistline.



The postman bringeth my Nielsen Rating Diarys!
The postman bringeth my Nielsen Rating Diarys!



It happened to me just a few weeks ago as I became…..a member of the Nielsen family!



Yes, I had become the chosen one in my viewing area to carefully monitor the television watching not just for me–but for my entire family!


For over 60 years, Nielsen has produced TV ratings for the U.S. & beyond.  And now was My Odd Sock’s opportunity to screw up television programming for future generations.

That’s a lot of pressure to live up to!


The colossal console
The colossal console


Would my 1990 27-inch console TV be able to handle it?  Let’s hope so.

Sometimes when it’s on, the TV emits a low buzzing sound.  And sometimes when the picture gets snowy, you have to jiggle the cable wire. 

Some one asked if my console was “high-def?”  I responded “Yes, if you sit reeeaal close!”

Of course my TV was ready.  The question… “Was I?”


Smell the moolah!
Smell the moolah!


To complete this important mission, my Nielsen envelope contained five, crisp, one-dollar bills.

Personally, the money was secondary.

More symbolic, the reward was the “unique opportunity to represent TV viewing in your area”

(Well, at least that’s what the envelope said!)



Completing my diary
Completing my diary



Thus, I began the arduous task of charting every program, every channel, for every family member, hour by hour, day by day….for a whole friggin week!

(I was cursing my “opportunity” from day one!)




Then I wondered, do I portray myself as a high-brow viewer watching “Greast Performances”, “Charlie Rose”, and “PBS Newshour” on Public Television?

Or do I take the low-road on TLC and watch “Toddlers & Tiares”, “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and the “600 Pound Virgin?”  (I actually watched that show.  There’s a reason he was a 600lb virgin–he was so big he couldn’t find his junk!)

Remember the days before TLC shortened their name from “The Learning Channel?”  They actually ran programs that taught you something.  Today, the only thing you gain is the appreciation that your life is WAY better than those on TLC!



Maybe I’d watch one of those horrible, original movies on Syfy.  (That’s the new logo for the old “SciFi Network.”)

Corporate muckity-mucks thought “SciFi” was too narrowcast, so they changed it to “Syfy.”  (That and they remembered the old elementary school rule that “y” can sometimes become a vowel if there are no other vowels in the word.  I learned that on TLC!)


I got a question...Is that a thumb?
I got a question...Is that a thumb?


Finally, I simple decided to be truthful and complete those diarys as best I could.

May my diligence benefit mankind in television seasons of the future.

It’s a small sacrifice to make when the big reward is becoming a blood brother of the Nielsen family.






3 Replies to “A Nielsen Family”

  1. After I watch one of those Hoarder Shows, the next day I have to go throw stuff out. My Dad tells me, there is no need to save stuff that can be replaced in the Dollar Store.

  2. And I thought I was the lucky one for once…like winning a lottery in a way. And then the books for each tv in the house appeared. It felt extremely sad to return all but one empty. And the one that wasn’t had few shows…why…because they send them during the off-seasons! Crapola…it would have been nice to have these during the seasons when our favorite shows are on. UGH!

  3. Speckled,
    We were in the same boat. Five diaries, only one filled out. I suppose that is good. Also, just like you, it was during rerun season and a very busy week here at home!
    Oh well, I am five dollars richer!