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Science Says: Cancelled TV Shows Cause Emotional Distress

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I’m not sure which television network to hold most accountable for this sort of thing. Fox is obviously a great contender, but Cartoon Network is catching flack for canceling Sym-Bionic Titan, and Nickelodeon is finally realizing that there’s a market for all of its no-longer-airing kids shows, and so maybe we can all get a little normalcy back in our lives.

“We found that people who primarily watched television for companionship were the ones who felt the most distressed by temporarily losing their programs,” said Emily Moyer-Gusé, an assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University and co-author of the study.

Excellent! Now we can get the Firefly-related class action suit going, right? Right?

“While some participants felt real distress at the loss of their favorite TV shows, the distress is not comparable to the distress that comes from real breakups,” she said. “There are some aspects of relationships with TV characters that may be comparable to real relationships, but the intensity is generally much lower.”

Oh. Well okay. I guess that’s out then. I mean we’re really just making something out of nothing here. According to Live Science, the study even says that people don’t get up and get proactive when their shows are cancelled, they just replace the time they spent watching it with time watching reruns, watching something else, or surfing the internet. It would be pretty silly of us to make a big thing out of this.

Moyer-Gusé noted that the research only included college students, who normally have a wider range of entertainment options than others. Distress may actually be higher for others, like the elderly, who rely more on television for entertainment and companionship.


(via Jezebel.)

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