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Broadcast audience older than ever

Get off the broadcast lawn!

According to the latest Nielsen data, the average audience of the four major broadcasters is older than ever.

In a study released by analyst Steve Sternberg, ABC's median viewership aged one year last season -- to 51. CBS also grew a year, to 55. NBC gained two years, to 49. And Fox stayed the same, a relatively nubile 44.

Compare this to a decade ago. ABC was 43, CBS was 52, NBC was 45 and Fox was only 35.

Only young-female targeted relative newcomer The CW has as median age under 40 -- 33 -- a figure its more or less maintained the past few years.

"Ten years ago, there was still a relatively wide age disparity among the then six broadcast networks," Sternberg noted.

Other points of interest:

-- Comedies tend to be the youngest-skewing shows. In the fall of 1999, there were 45 broadcast sitcoms. Last fall there were just 20.

-- Conversely, procedural dramas are among the oldest-skewing genres. A decade ago, there were only five. Last fall there were 20.

-- The oldest-skewing broadcast shows include: ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" (57), CBS' "The Good Wife" (58) and "NCIS" franchise (57).

-- Among the youngest: Fox's animated comedy block (30-32) and "Glee" (38), NBC's Thursday night comedy block (35-40).

Related: Here's how the cable news networks stack up in terms of age.

age chart