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Barack to the Future
February 1

In comes American Idol, fresh off moving it's nights to Wednesday and Thursday. So how do they fare? Was it a smart more to do so? Will they still be the #1 show in the land? Did the numbers decrease to dangerous levels? And what about the other shows not named American Idol (yes, we do have some of those, believe it or not). Let's sing the praises of the numbers this week...

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Bachelor (ABC)

January 3: 9.7 million Viewers (#2 in it's time slot) / 3.3 for A18-49 (#1 in it's Time Slot)
January 10: 8.4 million Viewers (#2 in it's time slot) / 2.8 for A18-49 (#1 in it's Time Slot)
January 17: 8.76 million Viewers (#2 in it's time slot) / 2.7 for A18-49 (#2 in it's Time Slot)
January 24: 9.23 million Viewers (#2 in it's time slot) / 2.7 for A18-49 (#2 in it's Time Slot)

That's actually a nice uptick for the show. However, keep in mind that the CBS comedies were once again repeats. What's going to happen when we get a continual slew of new CBS episodes? Will ABC's fan base stay loyal or is it going to drop under 9.0...or worse?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Barack Obama

January 25: 27.10 million / 7.0 for A18-49

It's very impressive, but will it be good enough to beat American Idol? Laugh all you want, but we'll see later on in the week....

The Biggest Loser: Couples 4 (NBC)

January 4: 8.95 million (#2) / 2.8 for A18-49 (#1)
January 11: 8.67 million (#2) / 3.1 for A18-49 (#2)
January 18: 8.19 million (#2) / 2.8 for A18-49 (#2)
January 25: 8.67 million (#2) / 3.0 for A18-49 (#1)

The numbers did bounce up, which is good. However, that was the only non-repeated show for the hour, so take those numbers with a grain of salt. Let's see how if does when the non-repeats return.

Million Dollar Money Drop (FOX)
January 4: 3.71 million (#4), 1.2 for A18-49 (#4)
January 11: 5.13 million (#4), 1.8 for A18-49 (#4)
January 18: 5.27 million (#4), 1.9 for A18-49 (#4)
January 25: BARACK OBAMA

So what does it say when FOX decides to run a repeat of Glee which scores just as well as MDMD with almost 5 million viewers? It says that the audience shouldn't get too attached to the show.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

American Idol (FOX)

January 19: 26.1 million Viewers (#1) / 9.7 for A18-49 (#1)
January 26: 25.1 million Viewers (#1) / 9.2 for A18-49 (#1)

People were expecting a drastic plunge between the first 2 episodes, thanks to less than glowing reviews of the new direction. Guess what? It didn't happen, as the ratings only dropped 5%. That begs this question: Is the format stronger than the personalities themselves? And if that's the case, should Simon Cowell be concerned about The X Factor?

Live to Dance (CBS)
January 4: 10.25 million Viewers (#1) / 2.5 for A18-49 (#2)
January 5: 7.79 million Viewers (#2) / 1.8 for A18-49 (#3)
January 12: 6.22 million Viewers (#2) / 1.3 for A18-49 (#3)
January 19: 5.32 million Viewers (#3) / 1.0 for A18-49 (#4)
January 26: 4.75 million Viewers (#4) / 1.1 for A18-49 (#4)

Someone that needs to be concerned about ever getting a prime time show again is Paula Abdul. LTD is dead last in it's timeslot and is an albatross compared to the rest of their programming (which is averaging 12 million viewers for the rest of the night.) The Paula Abdul experiment has clearly failed and you have to wonder if she may have been regretting jumping ship from a program that has more than 5 times the ratings than what show is garnering.

Minute to Win It (NBC)
January 5: 6.82 million Viewers (#4) / 2.2 for A18-49 (#2)
January 12: 5.05 million Viewers (#3) / 1.4 for A18-49 (#2)
January 19: 5.10 million Viewers (#3) / 1.6 for A18-49 (#2)
January 19: 5.01 million Viewers (#3) / 1.4 for A18-49 (#3)

Not that MTWI is doing any better here. This is clearly a summer show that is no match for Idol. NBC may be better off sliding this over to Saturday nights and trying to get a family evening there (though again, the relative cheapness to produce this show doesn't make this as bad of an investment than LTD, to whom CBS paid a decent chunk of change for Paula's services.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

American Idol (FOX)

January 20: 22.6 million Viewers (#1) / 7.7 for A18-49 (#1)
January 27: 17.21 million Viewers (#1) / 5.8 for A18-49 (#1)

FOX called this a 'dominating victory' for the show. Victory? Yes. Dominating? Not a chance. Not when you drop 25% of your audience from last week. If that number is not an aberration and more of what is to come on Thursday night, then American Idol will lose it's #1 status to Dancing With the Stars. Keep in mind that they still haven't gone up against an original episode of The Big Bang Theory, so expect that number to drop further once new episodes arrive.

Wipeout (ABC)

January 6: 11.58 million Viewers (#1) / 3.7 for A18-49 (#1)
January 13: 10.53 million Viewers (#1) / 3.6 for A18-49 (#1)
January 20: 8.25 million Viewers (#3) / 2.6 for A18-49 (#3)
January 27: 7.61 million Viewers (#3) / 2.4 for A18-49 (#2)

Now that's the number I was expecting from Wipeout. It's still respectable, but again, CBS is still in repeat mode. Watch the number tick down again once TBBT shows up in a regular format.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC)

January 30: 8.45 million Viewers (#3) / 2.2 for A18-49 (#2)

What's amazing is not just that's it's on the air, but that it's drawing really nice numbers and worthy of it's spot on Sunday nights. It's a perfect family hour to watch the show - especially with no more football there. If I'm NBC, I would be thinking about putting Minute To Win it back in that spot and lead into Celebrity Apprentice, season 3.

Next Week: Can these shows maintain the numbers? Or will the slippery slope keep sliding? Join us in 7 days as we process more numbers.

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Gordon Pepper has a minute to win it. E-mail him at gordon@gameshownewsnet.com.