Oy. Let's not play the 'blame ratings on genre' game. Especially not if you have to twist facts to make your case. Viewers have no problem with genre television when done well. The only problem is when network execs and others with mindsets similar to you act like genre is something to be ashamed of, assuming on behalf of viewers that they have a problem with it, when really, the average American is perfectly happy with genre fare. I mean, come on....'shows like Lost succeeded by hiding the fact they were sci fi but ratings plummeted the more sci fi it got'? No. Every single viewer knew it was a paranormal show from the second the smoke monster showed up in the pilot. Sure, the show's success had a lot to do with the strength of its characters rather than hard sci-fi concepts, but that has nothing to do with hiding genre, and everything to do with good storytelling. Ratings dropped because the storytelling got unnecessarily convoluted in places, and people didn't have confidence the show knew where it was going. Nothing to do with its genre.
Heroes was very successful its first season. Ratings dropped because the quality dropped. The interest in its premise and subject matter was definitely there though. And so on and so on. The problem isn't that network audiences don't want to see genre fare. Bad TV is just bad TV, no matter its genre. For every sci-fi flop, I can easily name a derivative procedural that was shuffled off the air just as fast.
And sorry, but no matter how you spin it, Game of Thrones is a success. That's why its renewed and gets the buzz it gets. True Blood is a success. The Walking Dead is a success. The Vampires Diaries is a success. You can qualify all you want, but these shows perform to and above their expectations, and that's all that matters.
*Shrugs* You're not the only one who seems to think the average American has no interest in genre material, but I really don't get where people get that idea, especially when the most successful and talked about movies of the past several years are all superhero movies, except for when they're sci-fi or fantasy (Prometheus is as hard sci-fi as it gets, and its one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, even from people who have no idea its related to the ALIENS franchise, and you have no idea how many teenage girls are looking forward to Snow White and the Huntsman).
People have no problem with fantasy and sci-fi. They just want it to be GOOD fantasy and sci-fi.