Rethink Aging

TV producer Norman Lear, a 2017 Kennedy Center honoree, remains a creative force at 96.

Older adults are consistently the highest consumers of entertainment TV. According to a recent report from Nielsen Audience Research, viewing averages more than 50 hours per week among those aged 65 or older, compared to 31 hours across adults of all ages. [1] At the same time, older adults rarely see themselves depicted on screen in a substantial way. Data from the 2016 HH&S TV Monitoring Project indicate just 27% of all episodes included a character aged 65 or older in a speaking role, and only 8% had two or more speaking roles for older adults.

People are living longer than ever before. According to the U.S. Census Bureau report, the older adult population will continue to grow significantly in the coming years as a result of the aging “baby boom” generation. Along with our partner organizations including The SCAN Foundation, HH&S is helping to tell the story of the changing face of American society.

Contact us for more information and access to experts on older adults and aging to support your storylines.

[1] Nielsen Audience Research Total Audience Report: Q4 2015


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We work with our partner organizations to create resources for writers and producers on a wide variety of compelling health topics, including information on aging with dignity, person-centered care and the impact that older adults will have on communities. [Read more]

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TV producer Norman Lear and Academy Award winner Rita Moreno were among the featured guest speakers for a panel discussion about the portrayals of older women in entertainment, at the Writers Guild of America, West. The scarcity of roles for older women on TV—and older adults in general—is striking. [Read more]

Norman Lear

At 96, Norman Lear is still hard at work as a TV producer. In this funny and poignant look, he wonders about the secret to longevity (some song and dance in front of the mirror every morning, perhaps?), and meets with veteran actors for a reading of “Guess Who Died,” which NBC picked up for a pilot. [Watch video]