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False Idolatry
January 25

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 17, 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)

Now that the CBS comedies are back, The Bachelor will lose the 18-49 ratings #1 slot to them. However, the number, despite being lower than usual, is still more than good enough to be successful, and, to the chagrin of Chico, more than good enough for a renewal - if they keep it at that pace.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

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)

Just like the contestant's waistlines, the numbers are starting to shrink. It's still doing a heck of a lot better than the Fall version, but you'd like to see these numbers stabilize. The introduction of the two new trainers were not nearly as charismatic as Bob or Jillian, and I think though it won't be a factor this season, could spell trouble for next season.

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)

The numbers on this show are going up, which is good as a barely registering blip on the tv screen. The question for FOX: Do they want to keep a show that can pull a 5 paired up with it's hot new cash cow when the cow comes back for new episodes?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

American Idol (FOX)

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

Now 26 million is a huge number for any show. however, it's still a 13% drop from last year. The big test though isn't tonight, or even tomorrow. It's the live shows a month from now, which is where the erosion has been gaining momentum. Now one of the reasons why people watch even when the singing is rotten is to see Simon Cowell's reaction to it. Now if none of the judges have that same sort of acerbity (and right now it looks like they don't), they better hope that the 'amazing' talent they have wasn't prominent on the first episode. Now where do you suppose those gawdy numbers came from?

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)

It came from here. Paula's show got absolutely flattened by the Idol Machine. I don't see the numbers getting any better, and I think this show is going to turn into street pizza.

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)

It also came form here. However, I don't think MTWI is going to be in as much trouble as the ratings suggest. This is filler, just like Deal or No Deal during their runs against Idol. MTWI's real showing will be in the Summer, where it should be. Even a weakened Idol is going to grind all opposing shows into the ground for now.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

American Idol (FOX)

January 19: 26.1 million Viewers (#1) / 9.7 for A18-49 (#1)
January 20: 22.6 million Viewers (#1) / 7.7 for A18-49 (#1)

You're not going to poo poo 22+ million viewers, but that's an over 25% drop from the 30 million people who showed up last year. And you're not going to like the same drop with the 18-49 viewers. If they stay at 8pm, they should be fine, but the real test is going to be how those 2 hour performance shows fare against CSI / Grey's Anatomy / The Office Combo. It could get under 20 million viewers, and it could open the door for Dancing With the Stars to be the #1 show on TV, ending Idol's 8 year reign of dominance.

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)

I thought it was going to do a lot worse, but it did hold it's own against Idol and Big Bang Theory / (Bleep) My Dad Says. If it stays at 8, or even drops to over 7, that has to be considered a success for ABC's programming.

Next Week: What will the networks do with Barack Obama's State of the Union Address? And how will the game shows fare against more shows that come out of repeat hibernation? Join us in 7 days as we process more numbers.

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Gordon "G-Money" Pepper is the lost member of the boyband Gameboyz. E-mail him at gordon@gameshownewsnet.com.