With these TV guys, there is the added element of theatrics. If you shoot a deer in the ribs, he is likely to take off and run a bit and die off-camera. The deer runs away and you cut to the reaction shot of the hunter pumping his fist and high-fiving the cameraman. That is good for Sunday morning ESPN fare. It also lets them substitute the bigger buck for the scenes taken after dark. For the DVD audience, you want the animal to expire right then and there. A DRT shoulder shot is very dramatic. It also helps emphasize the effectiveness of the sponsor's rifle.
There are problems with every shot placement. With the head, you have a chance of blowing off the lower jaw. Necks have too small of a target. Heart/lung shots are too close to the paunch. Sometimes this discussion can get rather heated. Folks seem to have a lot of emotion wrapped up in their choice of target.
The problem with a shoulder shot is the thickness and shape of the bone. A spot-on shot will drop the animal. However, a glancing shot off the bone can have unwanted consequences. Usually, when we discuss bullet failure, the shoulder is involved. This is true with all bullets, even premium bullets. If a bullet is going to do something strange, it will happen after contact with the shoulder. Higher velocity and kinetic energy seem to exacerbate the problem.
I have made a habit of trying for the lungs and heart. However, stuff does happen in the woods. I had one odd encounter with a shoulder in 2001. It was a brisket shot with a 30-06, a bit off center at fairly close range. However, the bullet glanced off the inside of the far-side shoulder blade and took off for the paunch. I found thumb-sized hole in the diaphragm, and it got lost somewhere in the innards. On the way through, it had jellied the heart and lungs. Mind you, this is only a guess. It is the only shot that has left me scratching my head.
Meat loss is the other reason I stay away from shoulder shots. I hunt exclusively with .308 and .358 bullets in rifles like 30-06 and 35 Whelen. When one connects on a rib on the way in. . . well, let's just say I've gotten used to not getting any ribs back from the processor. When you move to the shoulder area, there is a lot more meat in the way, and the shoulder itself can get pretty energetic once it is hit. If you are not careful you can also involve both the near and far shoulder area and double the amount of meat lost. I cannot say I really miss venison ribs. I last fixed them for myself in 1991. However, a shoulder roast, thrown in the crockpot with a bottle of russian dressing is one of the family favorites.
I am a strong proponent of the heart and lungs being the primary target. With my arsenal at the ranges I normally hunt I know that I can reach that from about any angle, and the trail will be short. To me, shoulders just get in the way.