April 14, 2005
is starting to become a scary column. Last week, I
spent a large period of time agreeing with my colleague
Gordon Pepper. This week, I'm going to be agreeing
with "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell.
That's later, but first...
The Price is Right...for great ratings.
A little inSite on the only game show on television that
universally appeals to all age groups, all genders, all
races, all everything: "The Price is
At the risk of getting into the "Numbers
Game," the first in the latest series of
"Million Dollar Spectaculars" produced
excellent numbers for CBS last Saturday. Keep in
mind that we are now in Daylight Saving Time, and it's
still daylight at 7/8pm on a Saturday night, a night
when an increasingly-large number of people are not at
home watching broadcast TV.
TPIR pulled a 10 share, meaning that 10% of TV viewers
were watching. Compare that to the last
non-basketball Saturday night CBS had, when it ran
"Cold Case" in the TPIR slot and got
approximately two million fewer viewers. TPIR had
approximately 7 million viewers. By comparison,
last week's "Amazing Race" episode had around
12 million, "Survivor" garnered 20 million,
and "American Idol" reached out to 24
million. Those latter three shows are
highly-promoted, in great time slots, and on every week.
I don't think I saw one promo for TPIR...it hasn't been
on in primetime in months...and it still got out to 7
million viewers (plus, arguably, a lot more in college
dorms that will never be counted).
CBS needs to make the primetime TPIR a weekly staple,
even if it's on Saturdays (although it would, as we've
seen before make a perfect Thursday replacement this
summer in-between "Survivor" editions).
Making the show appointment viewing -- as it's been in
daytime forever -- would likely only make ratings
increase...and give CBS an easy hour to lead into
"CSI" reruns and "48 Hours"...or
into "CSI" reruns and "Without a
Trace" reruns, depending on the night.
Word came down this week (see GSNN's front page or here)
that "The Apprentice" contestant Chris Shelton
was arrested for disorderly conduct, after a casino
Just days later, "Apprentice" boss Donald
Trump announced that the season finale would be just one
hour, down from last season's grossly-excessive three.
Could the drop to one hour be because Shelton is one of
the final two, and would not be hired after this
Probably it is just a coincidence...I, and
possibly 3/4 of America, would be completely shocked if
Chris made it to the final two. But I think we'd
all be begging for the Martha Stewart version of
"The Apprentice" if he won.
My opinion's changed...
I'm not sure if I ever stated it in a Prime Time
Insites column back in the old days, but I had a very
skeptical opinion of the Game
Show Congress when it was first developed and
envisioned. I was invited to be a part of the
event that first year and declined, quite frankly
thinking the idea sounded "kinda hokey."
But like all upstart events, the idea has grown,
expanded, and improved year-to-year, and a number of
staff members of GSNN attended GSC3 last year. I'm
actually quite sorry I didn't attend the first
GSC4 will be August 20th and 21st in Glendale, CA.
Will this columnist be there? Maybe...we'll see.
Since this column's rapidly turning long...click on the
link to go to part two.