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Mike Fleiss Should Never Be Allowed on TV Again - January 19

If you're a big viewer of this site, then no doubt, you've heard me say on more than one occasion, "Mike Fleiss should never be allowed on TV again." And it's hard to remain neutral in this research paper disguised as a column.... so I'm not even going to bother!

Mike Fleiss should never be allowed on TV again.

This time, the proof is in the numbers. Let's bring them up, shall we?

We'll Always Have Paris.

You may find it hard to believe (or not), but from the moment the Bachelor franchise actually produced a lasting couple in reality whore Trista Sutter and her man Friday Ryan, I was predicting its demise. And slowly, but surely, we're coming toward the end. ABC's post-MNF Monday lineup (January 10) delivered a fourth-place finish behind CBS's comedies, NBC's dramas, and Fox's all-but-condemned comedy lineup. While it's easy to blame comedies "Emily's Reasons Why Not" and "Jake in Progress", there's enough blame to go around. Take a look at the numbers for third-place "The Bachelor: Paris":

In the overnights we have a 5.3/8 & 6.2 million viewers. In the adults 18-49 demo... only a paltry 2.8/7.

And if any ABC brass is watching thinking that they can spin this to their advantage, check this out....

Last year, "The Bachelorette" (with its dumbkopf Jen Schefft at the helm) scored thusly: 6.7/10 in the overnights, 9.12 million viewers, and 4.3/10 in the demo.

I think it's safe to say that the dating reality subgenre... OVER. At least in a perfect world.

Now to some happier news...

Biggest... Idol... Ever...

It's always safe to say "American Idol is back." This year, though, it's a first. We can now safely say "American Idol is back... with a vengeance!" Last Tuesday's opener broke the record as the highest-rated premiere for the franchise in its four-year history, attracting 35.5 million viewers. The end result: 15.2/34 in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by Nielsen Media Research. That's up six percent from the last season's opener, which was no turkey itself, building from the season 3 opener. Last year, the Idol scored thusly:  33.6 million viewers and a 14.0/33. It also scored big among adults 18-34, averaging 14.7/36 compared to the 14.3/37 a year ago, a level showing.

Its biggest following came at 9p, when 38.7 million viewers watch Simon tear the dreams of the deluded to ribbons. And there were plenty of dreams deterred, I warn you.

Scrapheap Challenge

The godfather of this site Jason Elliott e-mailed me this...

Is it just me or should we be seeing a PR from NBC shelving and/or canceling Fear Factor within seven days?  It got absolutely pummeled by Idol last night.  I think it may have been fifth behind whatever the WB had on.

Not far from the truth, you are. NBC's "Fear Factor" suffered, managing only a 2.9/4 in the demo, only good for fifth behind "Idol", "NCIS", "According to Jim" & "Rodney", and "Gilmore Girls".

Clearly, another franchise whose days are numbered, as I pine for "Deal or No Deal".

The Weekly Rant, or Kevin Marshall played like the requisite candy-ass challenger.

Going back to "Idol" for a second, it recently came out that Kelly Clarkson, who has the blessing and curse of being the first American Idol, did not license any of her songs to be used on the show. Of course, it didn't stop the prospectives from coming out with "Since U Been Gone", the biggest song of last year... at least one of them sang it judging from audition clips.

At best, it's a misunderstanding in paperwork. At worst, it's Kelly's latest attempt to distance herself from the show that made her a star. Now control is not a bad thing in the least and Kelly admits that there is no bad blood between her and the show, but Simon Cowell seems to think otherwise, as he's blasted the first child of Idol about forgetting her roots.

I would agree with him. I mean, it's one thing to know where you're going, but it's quite another to forget where you'd been. After all, were it not for the show, she'd still be waiting tables at a Burleson, TX, chowhouse somewhere.

I'm reminded of Chinua Achebe's words regarding his book, "Things Fall Apart". Something akin to having one foot in the past and one foot in the future. Perhaps Kelly should take a reading to Mr. Achebe's works.

If you happen to run into Chico Alexander today, wish him a happy 26th birthday. E-mail him at


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