Saturday, April 4, 2015


Every show on television is designed to appeal to a certain group of viewers. Shows such as Jessie and Girl Meets World are meant to appeal to children viewers whereas dramas like Scandal and American Horror Story: Asylum appeal to an adult demographic.
The target audience of FX Networks on which American Horror Story: Asylum aires, is the adult age group of 18-49. FX is one of the Top 5 among audiences 18-49 in prime time as compared to other cable networks. The desired median age for the network is 37 which is younger than most other adult cable networks ("Ad Age Custom Programs").
American Horror Story: Asylum aired on Wednesdays at 10:00 pm on the FX network. This time can tell about the intended audience of the show. Since most of the content in Asylum is mature, they air the show later at night so children will not be awake to watch the show. The intended audience is to be young adults and older that would be watching the show.
As said earlier, the demographic group that appeals to American Horror Story: Asylum is in the young adult to adult age. Ratings from the program show that Asylum is watched in the demographic group from 18 to 34 or 18 to 49 age groups. This is fitting in that American Horror Story is aimed to “hail” this age group due to the context of the program.
American Horror Story: Asylum “hails” viewers of adult age who enjoy horror themes in a television show. American Horror Story: Asylum is not a show for everyone. For example, my roommates are not “hailed” to this program because they are easily frightened and do not  like the theme of this program. Due to the nature of the show, I do not feel that there is an expected social position of the audience in order from them to be a subject of the program. Asylum shows a variety of social positions through the characters. If the audience member is able to relate to that social position of that character, it “hails” them as a viewer and therefore they become a subject of the program.
The characters in American Horror Story: Asylum portray a range of different ages, relationships, and classes. The predominant age group of the characters in the show are young adults. Characters such as Sister Mary, Lana Winters, Grace, Shelley, and Kit Walker fall into this age group. Though we do not know their age specifically (since it is not mentioned throughout the season), their appearance and mannerisms. It is somewhat difficult to tell whether Sister Jude and Dr. Arden fall in the middle-aged senior age group. The audience learns about their pasts during the season and know that they were younger during the 1940s. This, however, still does not tell the audience what is their exact age. Many of the characters in the show are single or were members of a family but were taken away from that family to be put into the asylum. Kit and Lana were taken away from others to be put into the asylum. The audience learns that Grace was part of a family, but she was put into the asylum because she apparently murdered them. The program shows that most of the character’s lives outside of Briarcliff are of the middle-class lifestyle. Both Kit and Lana lived in comfortable homes and had decent jobs. Dr. Arden and Dr. Thredson could be considered upper-class in how their homes are fancier and they have more expensive tastes.
American Horror Story also shows different types of domestic relationships in each of its seasons.In Asylum, the domestic relationships of the characters are nontraditional for the time period the show is set. The two main relationships shown throughout the season is Kit Walker and his relationship with his wife Alma and Lana Winters and her relationship with her girlfriend Wendy. Kit and Alma’s
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relationship is nontraditional in that they are an interracial couple. This was not accepted or allowed during the 1960s so often others would “pick” on them. Their relationship becomes even more complex later in the season when Kit proposes to Grace. Once Kit and Grace are out of the asylum, they go back to Kit’s home to meet Alma. There they live the polygamy lifestyle together (which is not accepted by others as well). The other nontraditional relationship in the season is Lana Winters with her girlfriend Wendy. Once again, this type of relationship was not accepted and looked down upon during the 1960s. They keep their relationship a secret from everyone so they can avoid being mistreated from others. We only see a glimpse of their relationship since Wendy betrays Lana when Sister Jude convinces Wendy to sign the paperwork for Lana to be admitted into the asylum. The audience is able to see that this betrayal hurts Lana but she still worries about Wendy and her well-being.

Product placement sticks out to me whenever I am watching a television program. Often the product is placed in a way that does not seem natural or disrupts the flow of the program. Fortunately, American Horror Story: Asylum does not have product placement throughout the season. If the program did have product placement, it would take away some of the creepiness and the authenticity of the show.
Since I am watching this season of American Horror Story on Netflix, there are no commercials shown. When I watched this season when it aired, I remember most of the commercials being aimed at the target audience or adults ranging from 18 to 49 years old. Types of commercials shown were about other programs on the network, beauty products, or a fast-food chain. These commercials did not specify to certain interests or hobbies due or type of lifestyle due to the large age demographic. An 18 year old might relate to a certain commercial differently than someone in their 30s. This can be beneficial to the network since they are able to have a variety of commercials that aim at different ages.

The creators of television programs and the networks on which they air work together to design a way for the shows to appeal to a certain demographic. For American Horror Story: Asylum, the demographic of the program is that of the adult ages 18 to 49. This demographic is “hailed” as viewers to watch the show due to the subject of the program. The characters in Asylum provide a variety of age groups, social statues, and domestic relationships. The commercials that aired while American Horror Story: Asylum was on television were also aimed towards the demographic of the show. Each of these aspects are used to together to appeal to the adult age and get them to want to watch the program.  

Works Cited
"Ad Age Custom Programs." FX. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2015. 
"American Horror Story." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2015.

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