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The Calm Before the Snowstorm
January 11

Welcome to the first Numbers Game column of the decade. Sounds sort of fun saying that, doesn't it? Anyways, let's look at the ratings of the shows you watch and how it could affect your viewing habits this year.

Monday, January 3, 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)

The good news is that it's a healthy number. The bad news is that it's the 3rd WORST debut in it's season history AND that was against two networks with repeats. It Brad comes off as unlikable as I saw him, those numbers next week are going to drop faster than Frosty the Snowman's libido when he sees a 5'7", 350 pound woman in a string bikini.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Live To Dance (CBS)

January 4: 10.25 million Viewers (#1) / 2.5 for A18-49 (#2)

Live To Dance easily takes the time slot, but like the Bachelor, there's 2 issues here. #1. Once again, its against repeats and #2. Its not on its regular night, which is Wednesdays, against tougher competition, which will include American Idol. it's a nice number for now, but let's see what happens the next day.

The Biggest Loser: Couples 4 (NBC)
January 4: 8.95 million (#2) / 2.8 for A18-49 (#1)

The numbers here are better than last season, which is good. There's also no American Idol against it this season, which means the numbers could actually go up instead of being depressed in a month. But how big of a bite will the returning Glee put into it?

Million Dollar Money Drop (FOX)
January 4: 3.71 million (#4), 1.2 for A18-49 (#4)

The only thing dropping here (besides the money) are the ratings, as they went from a respectable 6.0+ in December to under 4, which is cancellation territory. This could be massive trouble for the show when - or if - it finishes it's run.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011
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)

It's never a good drop when you lose around 25% of your day 1 audience. The most important part of the show is next week, when we get to the live competition. If we get the same drop between this week and next week, then Paula Abdul may not want to know what's going to happen when they come up against her old show, Big Bad American Idol, due to return in a fortnight.

Minute to Win It (NBC)
January 5: 6.82 million Viewers (#4) / 2.2 for A18-49 (#2)

This was averaging a million more viewers a month ago on Tuesdays. Wednesdays is a lot tougher, and like LTD, Minute to Win It is going to have some serious issues when they get their first taste of American Idol Madness in 2 weeks.

Thursday, January 6, 2011
Wipeout (ABC)

January 6: 11.58 million Viewers (#1) / 3.7 for A18-49 (#1)

Wow. That's huge numbers on a Thursday night which is considered the toughest night of the week. It held it's own against The Big Bang Theory and beat (Bleep) My Dad Says. If they could pull those same numbers against original programming from NBC and FOX in two weeks, then this eight week experiment could turn into a permanent fixture. Of course, this all changes if American Idol comes in and beats Wipeout like a scrambled egg.

Million Dollar Money Drop (FOX)
January 4: 3.71 million (#4), 1.2 for A18-49 (#4)
January 6: 4.24 million (#3), 1.3 for A18-49 (#3)

How exactly was this a hit in the UK? And how much money did FOX drop into this bomb?

Believe it or not, that's all the Primetime Game Shows this week. Next week, we'll see how they fare against non-repeats. Join us in 7 days for the fun.

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Gordon Pepper likes big snowballs in the wintertime. E-mail him a few of your own at gordon@gameshownewsnet.com.