Are moms the target audience of the Jodi Arias trial?

I recently met a Phoenix TV reporter who has been covering the Jodi Arias trial, and he said that moms were the demographic fueling all the TV ratings for the Arias trial.

The ratings on HLN, which has covered the trial non-stop, have increased dramatically over the last two months.

According to Media Bistro in March, “The biggest gains are in the afternoon hours, where HLN is up over +100% in total and demo viewers from 3-6PM ET. 4PM’s “Making It In America,” for example, is up +136% in total viewers and +128% in the demo compared to Q1 2012.”

From March to April rating increased 43 percent in viewers 25 to 54 in the “Total Day.”

From an AP story trying to explain the phenomenon:

“Arias testified for 18 days about every aspect of her sex life with Alexander, many of the details X-rated in nature. The proliferation of streaming video and Twitter has made the trial accessible to people in ways unimaginable just a couple years ago. The court proceedings themselves have devolved into a sideshow at times, with a bizarre retelling of the Snow White fairy tale by a defense witness and lawyers playing in open court a raunchy phone sex chat between Arias and the victim a month before the killing. On top of that, cable networks such as HLN have thrown fuel on the fire by providing wall-to-wall coverage of the case. As a result, the network has seen record ratings.

“Everybody always has known that if you can tell a story and say it is based on a true story, or ripped from the headlines, than that’s often something you can make more compelling because it’s real,” said Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University’s Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture. “Well, this is the ultimate. This isn’t based on a real story. You’re showing them the real story.”

“TV networks realized in the months after the killing that they had ratings gold with the Arias case. Arias courted the spotlight right away, doing jailhouse interviews with “Inside Edition” and “48 Hours” in which she adamantly denied killing Alexander, instead blaming it on two masked intruders. She stuck with that story until two years after her arrest then changed her tune to self-defense.”

“The Turner Broadcasting-owned HLN went all-in during the trial, launching a new show called “HLN After Dark” devoted primarily to Arias. The network’s main personalities, led by Nancy Grace, have covered nothing but Arias, and HLN has set up a stage near the courtroom where it seats mock juries. Lifetime has a movie in the works. And the major networks have gotten in on the action, too. ABC’s “Good Morning America” scored a major scoop during the trial by obtaining Arias’ diaries that were filled with all sorts of juicy details about her romance with Alexander.”

“Thompson and network executives say the trial has become so popular because viewers can relate to the characters, whether it’s a stormy romance, an obsessive ex-girlfriend or a cheating boyfriend.”

“We knew the characters involved like Jodi and Travis were interesting young people, in love theoretically, and it went dramatically bad,” said Scot Safon, executive vice president and general manager of HLN.

“A crime story like this that goes to trial, it’s never just about the story itself,” he added. “You get to know the people involved.”

So do you know people glued to the trial? What is the fascination? Is it because it’s like a real soap opera? Do people feel like they know the people?

Is it the violence? Is it the sex? (Two friends of ours that have been covering the trial just published an e-book about it, and apparently it includes sex stuff from the trial that newspapers just couldn’t publish.) Is it her changing stories?

Why do you think the Jodi Arias trial is so popular with women? Do you believe that moms are fueling those viewership numbers?

34 comments Add your comment

DB

May 7th, 2013
12:29 am

I have to admit, I had heard of it, fleetingly, a few months ago, and then promptly forgot it. I haven’t been following it, I haven’t paid attention to it, and I have no idea what’s going on with it. I remember thinking the girl sounded like an idiot, what little bit I did see a few months, but I shrugged it off. Why the sex life of some psycho is of any interest to anyone, I can’t imagine.

Jeff

May 7th, 2013
5:40 am

I was under the distinct impression that moms were WAY to busy to sit down and watch TV from 3-6.

How is this possible? (Yes, tongue in cheek)

mom2alex&max

May 7th, 2013
6:30 am

I haven’t even heard of this trial. But I will admit to being FASCINATED with the whole Neuman/Sneiderman saga!

A

May 7th, 2013
7:04 am

I only know about this case through the shameless and constant promotion by Headline News, which appears to be airing it 24/7. Other than that, I could not care less and have better things to do with my time. I will add that I didn’t watch the OJ trial either back in the ’90s, but that one I did follow through the news. This other case holds zero interest for me.

Mayhem

May 7th, 2013
7:16 am

I agree 100% with DB! I don’t care, I don’t watch this kind of crap. We very rarely watch the news! It’s too depressing.

jarvis

May 7th, 2013
7:18 am

What is the fascination?

This woman is on the stand testifying that she gave this devout Mormon oral inside his car at a Starbucks on their second date following an intense discussion on religion, and then she later shot him in the face, stabbed him 27 times and slit his throat from ear to ear “in self-defense”.

She’s effing nuts. That’s the fascination. I haven’t been watching the trial, but a 10 minute read up on it will tell you where the fascination is coming from.

Tom

May 7th, 2013
7:21 am

It’s been the next-best thing for all the chicks waiting for the “Fifty Shades” movie to be released.

mother of 2

May 7th, 2013
7:28 am

Haven’t watched a second of the trial, or read a single article. I thought it was retired people who were the demographic for this drama.

jarvis

May 7th, 2013
7:35 am

Also, she looks crazy in the eyes. Am I right?

Just wow

May 7th, 2013
7:36 am

Murder trails don’t have a target auidence. As jarvis said, this animal shot her boyfriend in the shower, drug his body out, stabbed him 27 times, then slit his throat ear to ear all because he decided to break up with her. She then took pictures which the police found when they arrested her. The unmitigted gall it takes to then play the victim card is stunning. This predator needs to be put dowm immediately.

FCM

May 7th, 2013
7:43 am

I don’t even know who Jodi Arias is, I had to Google to know what this blog was about.

If it is trying to get Mom’s as a target audience, it is failing in your blog demographic (per the posts above).

I think the execution of these murders would be better tv, and a good deterrent to future ones. (That goes for the guy in Aurora and other murders too not just this lady).

The trial is just ground work for the Lifetime Movie and Book deals.

Me

May 7th, 2013
7:59 am

I’ve heard of the trial but haven’t really followed it. However, similar to @mom2… above, I am following the Neuman/Sneiderman ordeal. I know this is totally off-topic but I have conflicting feelings – based only on what I have heard – as to whether I feel the widow to be guity or not. Hmmm. Maybe a potential blog topic for local ATL?

FRY her.

May 7th, 2013
8:00 am

Jodi gave it up early and often. She was his freak. But when he was thinking about getting serious and married, it wasn’t going to be her. so she seduced him with her usual tool–sex. Then because he wasn’t taking her with him on a trip, she literally slaughtered him.

I hope this jury doesn’t screw up like they did with OJ and Casey Anthony. This is clearly 1st degre with pre-meditation, and felony.

She needs to FRY immediately. Lethal injection is too kind for her.

I hate that the death penalty takes years to enact. Left to me, three months for the obligatory appeals and after that, “See ya! BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Beverly

May 7th, 2013
8:26 am

I am opposed to the death penalty except in these types of grizzly murders…only because if the wrong person is executed it is a a travesty. If she receives a lesser sentence than premeditated 1st degree murder she will back in society to perpetrate other evil deeds…history does repeat itself.
We as a society should focus on the family of Alexander, they unlike Arias are suffering a pain that I cannot imagine. They may forgive but they will NEVER forget.
The prosecutor represented the victim and he did it with his whole heart, soul and skills. I hope the verdict from the jury is a fair and just one, 1st Degree Murder Premeditated.

HB

May 7th, 2013
8:26 am

Sounds like it’s a soap opera that women feel better about watching because it’s “news”. Like DB, I’ve hardly heard anything about it — a benefit of not paying for cable.

Uh, no...

May 7th, 2013
8:30 am

…who is Jody Arias? (however, after reading Jarvis’ synopsis now I know)…

K's Mom

May 7th, 2013
8:35 am

I am a mom and I tend to be home in the afternoons. I have not watched one minute of this trial. Since I work in the mornings, I generally have to get house work done in the afternoons…so yes Jeff, I am too busy to sit around and eat bon bons and watch “reality” TV.

FCM

May 7th, 2013
8:39 am

I did not mean show the murders….show the person guilty of the murder being executed….to deter others from commiting the crime. Sorry to have written such unclear information.

Mayhem

May 7th, 2013
8:42 am

I am all for the death penalty. However, it takes too long to execute the seedy underbelly of society. I say, as soon as the trial is over, you ge ONE chance to have an appeal. If you lose your appeal,, I say take them about back and shoot them right then and there. My guess is that would decrease a lot of crime immediately. Make the punishment fit the crime. If you shoot someone, then you get shot. If you stab multiple times AND slit a persons throat, guess what? You get the same!

No book deals, no headlines, no more appeals, and you HAVE to pay for your own attorney.

usually lurking

May 7th, 2013
9:00 am

bgb

May 7th, 2013
9:30 am

Where’s Waldo?

Techmom

May 7th, 2013
9:34 am

I was on CNN.com yesterday reading about the Ohio girls being found when I saw a link to the Jodi Arias’ trial in 2 minutes. I briefly remember seeing a headline about the trial when it first started but that’s about it. Too much going on in real life to get sucked into that… plus, I figure I waste enough time on this blog and Facebook, the last thing I need is another distraction!!

FCM

May 7th, 2013
9:44 am

“Arias courted the spotlight” that says it all.

Techmom

May 7th, 2013
9:57 am

Speaking of things on CNN’s site, TWG, did you read about the funding cuts to National Parks? Better be prepared for slimmer services this summer:
http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/07/news/national-parks-budget-cuts/

catlady

May 7th, 2013
10:17 am

I have absolutely NO IDEA what this is about, and no interest in it. Most women I know are far too busy to watch much TV, period.

catlady

May 7th, 2013
10:21 am

Not sure about Neuman/Sniderman either? Simply don’t have time for this kind of (using a clean word, stuff).

Focus on doing good in your area, not living vicariously through “coverage” of evil.

motherjanegoose

May 7th, 2013
11:31 am

@ catady….ditto on no idea. I do hear about women women who spend hours on Pinterest though.

Becky

May 7th, 2013
1:57 pm

Pretty much what DB said..have seen a little bit of it and have no desire to see anymore of it..

@jarvis..Love your take on her.. :)

jmb

May 7th, 2013
2:36 pm

I’m sick of hearing about it on the morning shows. The girl is guilty and I think they’ve wasted a lot of money trying her for something she admitted to and was obviously premeditated. I’m still reeling over the Casey Anthony crap trial. Why in the world didn’t they fix her from at least having anymore children?

Denise

May 7th, 2013
3:29 pm

@FRY her…a serial killer has come out and said he murdered Nicole Brown Simpson so OJ is not guilty of that crime. He is guilty of a lot of things – PLENTY – but not that one.

And it’s the prosecutor’s fault that Casey Anthony got off. They could not prove premeditation so they should not have gone for Murder 1. They swung for the fences and missed. Nobody thinks she is innocent of killing that baby but the jury obviously thought she was not guilty of the charge gave her. Stupid prosecutors trying to make a name for themselves…now they are the “ones that lost the Casey Anthony trial”.

As for Jodi Arias’ trial, I haven’t seen anything of it and the most conversation I’ve seen of it is on this blog. No one I know is interested enough to talk about it. Sounds like she is guilty and if she is guilty of what she is being accused of, I’m with FRY her. I am generally anti-death penalty – MOST of the time – but she looks like a great candidate for IMMEDIATE execution if she is found guilty.

Grasshopper

May 7th, 2013
4:54 pm

This trial gets coverage 24/7 on the networks and in rags like the AJC.

But a doctor that hacks up several dozen babies born alive? You don’t need to know about that.

Jessica

May 7th, 2013
6:30 pm

Most of the at-home moms I know are too busy to spend their days watching trash on TV. My guess for the target audience would be people who are on the public dole long-term — they have nothing better to do.

Kat

May 8th, 2013
6:13 am

The fascination is that she is young and pretty. Whether the woman is the victim (Natalie Hollaway) or the perpetrator (Foxy Knoxy – who is being retried), it always makes headlines…as long as she is young and pretty.

Me

May 8th, 2013
11:42 am

Seems very few on this blog have interest in this – or perhaps those that do are too busy watching the proceedings. Can we move to something else?