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Someone Else's Words - March 23

As anyone can attest to, I'm not that good with words, but I do have a lot of quotes to fall back on should I need to make my point clearer. I have decided to use that method in reporting the Numbers Game this week, starting with...

"Deal or No Deal is still on TV." -Alex Davis, Buzzer: The Game Show Blog

This week, "Deal or No Deal" cemented itself as the most popular traditional form game show in the nation, as it is among the top 10 shows viewed last week. The three shows, in order...

Friday, March 17: Deal or No Deal, without competition from "The Ghost Whisperer", beat out all comers, including Tom Bergeron's "America's Funniest Home Videos" and NCAA opening round play (damn you, George Mason... damn you to hell for screwing my bracket up). The show took first in households with a 7.6/14, first in viewers with 12.31 million, and first in the demographic with a 3.8/12. This show ranked #20 for the week in viewers.

The combination of Deal, Las Vegas, and Conviction gave NBC the night.

Monday, March 20: one day after my father's 61st birthday, Deal or No Deal continued its winning ways with a first-place finish in households, 10.1/15, in viewers, 16.60 million, and in the demo, 5.5/14. Even against Fox's cult-hit "Prison Break", this episode ranked #10 for the week in viewers.

The combination of that, The Apprentice (which placed fourth in its time slot among viewers against CBS's comedy block, Fox's "24", and ABC's "Supernanny"), and Medium gave NBC a seven percent increase for the night.

Meanwhile, the Donald is having nightmares of Jon & Charlie, Jack Bauer, and a British nanny telling him that he's been very very naughty. Hey, some people think it's a nightmare, alright?

"Necessity is the mother of invention, it is true, but its father is creativity, and knowledge is the midwife." -Jonathan Schattke

The big premiere in broadcast games was Simon Cowell's take on "Made in the USA," "American Inventor." It premiered last Thursday at 8p over two hours, where Survivor and CSI would usually go were it not for March Madness. As a result, it's the 13th most watched show on television with 14.15 million viewers and a 5.4 in the demo, good for ninth. While this is scores better than "Made in the USA," we can't forget that ABC is taking advantage of a unique situation, in which two of the most popular shows on television outside of "American Idol" are still competing against special programming.

Tonight, it moves into its 9p slot. Next week, "Survivor" and "CSI" return. We'll see if viewers will still give this show a patent to exist, or if this was just a case of "there's nothing else on and Simon Cowell's name is attached."

Speaking of which...

"It's about being an original. Never compromise." -Simon Cowell

Fox gets to crow about Tuesdays for the next few weeks, as the blowout of singers continues on American Idol. The show helped Fox to the win two nights ago, as the toughest room in American played to 32.77 million viewers.

Will it get bigger as the show moves closer and closer to the coronation? It always has...

"Always look on the bright side of life." -Monty Python

Syndicated ratings are down for the week and the year. The previous week, Wheel of Fortune had a 9.2. The week of March 6, a 9.0, down a bit from that level, but down six percent for the week. The week of regional college action, though, it's more than expected. Same with Jeopardy!, a little down from last week's 7.4 with a 7.3, also down 10 percent from last year's UTOC play.

Elsewhere, Millionaire leveled off from last week with a 3.4, down three percent from the year before. Family Feud had a 2.1, down five percent from the year, and one-tenth from last week.

So all is as its should be in the world of the syndicated game. What will next year have in store?

The Weekly Rant, or Joanna Gleason, Jennifer Convy, and now Riley Mandel...

This week, it was announced that Ricki Lake would be hosting the upcoming "Game Show Marathon" for CBS. Our resident expert on all things TPIR Travis Schario, who gets to be on TV again thanks to Ohio News Network... lucky dog... then sent me this graphic...

All that need be said, really. I mean, as much as this is a salute to the game show, or a way to cash in on the growing celeb-reality craze, it's a safe bet to say that FremantleMedia would do well to not mess this up, because the fandom is a fickle beast.

And as easy as it is to mess up, it's just as easy for us, the audience, to give Ricki and the show a fair shake. After all, who saw Maury Povich as host of "Twenty-One" in 2000? Anyone? We can all think of one person who said "Maury Povich can't host a game show to save his life!"

But he did. And for a man who was admittedly a fish out of water, he was pretty capable of doing his job.

So give Ricki Lake a fair shake. Give her one episode.

Then you can blast her all you want.

Chico Alexander never dreamed of being a talk-show host. E-mail him at


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