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Everything's a game of numbers...

Today is

Concession Speeches - February 24

Lots of stuff to go over, so let's get to it.

Syndie games...

As previously reported, all of the games are down. Let's look at "Wheel of Fortune" first. This week, the first from Fort Lauderdale featuring Sweethearts Week mustered a 9.1, down three percent from last week, delivering almost 10 million viewers.  According to Media Life, the decline comes after weeks of steadily increasing ratings. As for the year to year, the top syndicated show lost a bit of ground, six percent from last year. Not really that much of a factor, but when you look at the demos, you have to think.. gee, those demos look weird. Here's the thing... for women 18-49, it was down 13 to a 2.7. For women 25-54, down 11 to a 3.4. Now the numbers, I think, are so small that a ten percent dropoff for "Wheel" doesn't really mean that much.

Erosion continued to an 8.9 for Wheel the next week.

It's prime-accent partner "Jeopardy!" was the third-most watched syndicated series last week with a 7.6, down 16 percent from last year, when the show was gearing up for its Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Its demographics suffered more, 24 percent drops to the 1 to 2 point levels.

Erosion continued to a 7.3.

Meanwhile, "Millionaire", the only game show to increase from week to week, was down on it's Walk-In and Win Week seven percent from last year, with a 3.5, only one-tenth off its season best. The bad news... which also doesn't really mean much, is single-digit drops in the demo for year to year.

As for "Family Feud", its Battle of the Divorced Couples only delivered a 2.6, down six percent from last year. The GOOD news is that at at least one property is up in women 25-54 two percent to a 1.2. All things considered, it's of ill wonder that the show is getting another season, especially if you consider that similar shows of that ilk, at least half of the talkers and half of the sitcoms, are barely treading 2s.

Survivor vs. Dancing... round 2

The first week of Survivor and Dancing with the Stars was a dead heat in all facets. If you listen to one source, it was another dead heat favoring "Dancing". If you listen to another, there was no comparison.

Either way, "Dancing with the Stars" is more popular than island hopping with nobodies. According to the New York Times, "Dancing" attracted more viewers in last Thursday's 8-to-9 hour than "Survivor" did... but only just: 19.1 million viewers to 18.9 million for the CBS show.

According to, ABC took honors at 8p thanks to "Dancing with the Stars," 11.7/17, which beat CBS' "Survivor," 9.9/15.

We can't wait until the games at Torino are over before we make a definitive assessment, because by that time, ABC's "Dancing" would've been over, and a champ would've been crowned. Ah, ABC, you're a sly little devil of a network.

Now, the reason why this particular installment was put off after a week... and two days.

Survivor vs. Dancing vs. Idol...

Last night was a big battle between three game show titans. In the end, who should come out the winner? Let's take a look at the numbers....

First, Survivor... The latest "Exile Island" episode took a minor hit in the face of such adversity, dropping to a 8.7/13 in the overnights (fourth place), 14.85 million viewers (third) and a 5.4/13 among adults 18-49 (second) at 8p. It was a minor hit, and without competition in the mix after a couple of weeks, expect it to rebound, especially as we get closer to the end.

Now to the two shows that beat it in the timeslot... First, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor's regular competition. At 8pm, we saw its audience thin out, with an average of 14.78 million viewers for that hour, still enough to take fourth, but just... The next hour, where aside from the Olympics the show ran unopposed, spiked to 20.58 viewers, good for second in the hour. The adults 18-49 for that show? At 8p, 3.6/9. At 9p, 6.2/15.

Ill wonder where all those young'uns went, as "American Idol" gave the hook to Bobby, Becky, Patrick, and Stevie, in front of an audience of 23.07 million viewers, first place for the hour. In households, we get a 14.4/21, and in the adults 18-49, 9.7/24.

Amazingly enough, all the networks last night were all soundly beaten by the Winter Olympics. Apparently there's an audience for ice skating... just without the celebrities.

The weekly rant, or sure, "Deal or No Deal" attracted 50 million viewers if you add up all five days.

I'm going to go into rapid fire observations this week...

- The Donald had the number one show in America... When?
- Deal or No Deal will need more than just a play on a week in order to prove that its hit status in December was no fluke.
- We'll see at least one new property be sold from our version of Game Show Marathon.
- I'm not a big fan of Bert's Family Feud, from what I've seen of it. Apparently, neither is Australia, as only 600,000 and change tuned into the revival. But points to Nine for being so daring with the project.
- Could the demographic of the adults 18-49 be a myth? Sounds like something worth looking into for a future Numbers Game.
- CBS was ill-advised in putting the final "Price is Right" Million Dollar Spectacular opposite American Idol. It follows in a string of moves from programmers to just concede the sweep to Fox for Idol and NBC for the Olympics. Why else would "Amazing Race" wait until it's almost March to take the screen?

That's it for now. There's more numbers where that came from next week... we promise.

Chico Alexander is still on vacation mentally.... Sock him upside the head at


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