I've seen discussion on other forums about the differences between invested viewers and relaxation viewers. The lament is that some TV programming has become so good that it's no longer a veg-out pastime. So there's still a sizable contingent of the viewing public who opt for the familiarity of L&O and CSI, or watch the 'good' shows for the explosions or slapstick.
SNL Standards and Practices - "you can't say 'midget,' It's just like saying the N-word.'
John Mulaney - "No it isn't, because you JUST SAID midget."