The Greatest Story Ever
Sold - March 30
While updating this here
site that you're reading (and in case I haven't said it
enough, THANK YOU for doing so, it's a lot of work, and
it's all for you), I ran across this blurb in B&C's
surrounding Fox's American Idol featuring singers who
arent amateurs does not seem to be having much of an
effect on its ratings. As always, Idol crushed
everything in its path on Tuesday night, according to
Nielsen Fast Affiliate numbers (live plus same day). The
show scored a 12.9 rating/32 share in the key 18-49 demo
Which got me thinking...
Did I miss the part where it became a controversy? After
all, we all know that while the point of American Idol
is to create a new pop star (or country, or R&B, or what
have you), the hook is not to make good music, but to
make good television. After all, why else would you read
stuff on VoteForTheWorst.com?
I'm by no means muffling
the argument. After all, we all know the recently
departed Lisa Tucker was a former Star Search champion.
Chris Daughtry and Bucky Covington are both in bands
here in North Carolina. Kellie Pickler, despite her
forced inanity, was a beauty pageant contestant. Paris
Bennett's talent runs deep in her blood (after all, Ann
Nesby of Sounds of Blackness is her grandmother).
Katharine McPhee's mother is a voice coach.
But to suggest a
controversy? How? We're all about numbers in this
column, but let's go into words for a second...
Webster's defines "controversy" as "a discussion marked
especially by the expression of opposing view". Now I've
been looking into this sort of singer on Idol this year,
and so has my partner in crime, and it seems that the
X-factor is the phrase "expression of opposing view."
The only "opposing view"
we've found is the above statement. Kinda squirrelly,
isn't it? I mean, sure there's a shadow on a show that
lost its innocence on more than one occasion, but to
suggest that there keeping the professionalism of its
contestants under wraps is a little bit misleading.
I'm reminded of what
Jason said before, "If it bleeds, it leads." But I
Are they creating good
music? Good enough to warrant its continued credibility
(whatever is left of it, after all, how credible is an
amateur singing career when someone presses the
fast-forward button, taking two or three years of hard
work and condensing it into an eight-month period, but
that's another rant for another day). Are they creating
good television? Absolutely. In fact, I'm of the mindset
that at Tuesday at 8p, there are two shows on: "American
Idol" and everything else.
Is there a conflict
between the two? No doubt. I mean, that's par for the
course on reality TV. The players create the game... the
show creates the story. That's all there is to it. And
it seems like a good blend of both will keep the masses
Wise man once said, if
you build it, they will come. If you build it well, they
will stay, going into our second prime time game success
A Big Deal Indeed.
... "Deal or No Deal",
which is slowly but surely making believers out of
skeptics that thought that this show wouldn't do well
against regular competition (just ask Gordon; his recent
SOP in character development details how crafting the
story of someone's life around the game and the possible
results are creating game show heroes not seen since the
early days of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"). And the
audience loves it. This week, you the viewers (all 16.8
million of you) made the Monday episode of "Deal or No
Deal" the sixth-most-watched show this week. The show is
only bested by both "American Idol"s, "CSI Miami",
"Desperate Housewives" and "60 Minutes". The Wednesday
show ranked #12 with 14.95 million viewers.
If NBC doesn't renew this
for a second season of shows, then ... I don't know.
People would kill for numbers like these. And to not
capitalize would just be foolhardy.
But then again, this is
the same network that thought that Americanizing
"Coupling" was a good idea.
Also of note... It turns
out that the show, which is getting off-network play on
CNBC, is doing better than new original projects for the
network, including Michael Eisner's new show. Consider
this, released by Reuters today...
Michael Eisner" brought in just 95,000 viewers,
according to data released Wednesday by Nielsen Media
Research. "Conversations" plunged from its lead-in, a
repeat of "Deal or No Deal," which drew 518,000
viewers. The premiere was down 23% in viewers compared
with CNBC's average in the time slot in the first
quarter of this year.
Well, Michael Eisner has
something else in common with Donald Trump. Both can't
use the success of their lead in to hold an audience for
To quote another good
friend of mine, Laura Shew... "Daaaaaaaaamn, son!"
Also faring well in
their debut week...
- Bravo's "Top Chef",
which yielded 720,000 viewers.
- Fox's "Unan1mous",
which proves that you could put grass growing on after
Idol and still get a hit out of it, was the ninth
most-watched show of the week with a sampling of 16.04
million. But here's the crutch... It only retained 58
percent of "American Idol"s overflow audience (the show
aired until 9:32p). The second week dropped slightly to
- Syndie games are, for
the most part, on the upswing. Last week, "Wheel of
Fortune" (with a 9.3) and the soon-to-be-Karn-less
"Family Feud" (2.1) were up from the last year with a
9.3 and a 2.1 respectively (up 0.3 and level
respectively). "Millionaire" was level from last year
and last week with 3.4. "Jeoaprdy"! is down to a 6.9.
That's a 9 percent drop from last year and 0.3 from last
week. Again, consider that last year, we were in UTOC
play for that.
The Weekly Rant, or
Richard Karn is excused with the thanks of the Chairman.
Well, the GSN/Time Warner
conflict has finally hit home. After reading about
Houston, Binghamton, and the Piedmont Triad, the
Raleigh-Durham market saw GSN move to Digital Sports. I
caved and forked over the $3 to stay in the game. Call
it a real-life version of "High Stakes Poker", but I
figure that I spend more on less.
The truth of the matter
is... GSN should've seen it coming.
After seeing a record
ratings drop since changing from a big green ball to a
big black square, the object of cheer and derision from
game show fans has become the target of a
reorganization, as Time Warner no longer sees the
network as a viable entity for a broad-scale audience.
And, as we love to say
around here. The fact remains that GSN is a company, not
a magic lamp. At the end of the day, the network serves
to tap into an audience to collect a revenue. They saw
that Fox Reality could tap into the same audience, and
changed accordingly to mixed results. "Anything to Win"
and "High Stakes Poker" continue to be performers, "The
Amazing Race" has not yet seen a grand return on the $6
million investment paid forward, and the jury will be
out for a while once "Lingo" and "I've Got a Secret"
premiere, but you had to kiss a lot of frogs first.
Anyone for "Fake-a-Date"? "American Dream Derby?"
In returning to classic
form game shows and building up on its card slate, GSN
is readily admitting that the switchover was a bad idea
in some aspect. But it seems that the idea is now a moot
point in some areas, and the revelation may have come
too little, too late.
And now, karma has come
But then again, whether
or not the same could be said for Outdoor Channel is yet
unknown, so perhaps I should just thank my lucky stars
that I still have the channel.
Chico Alexander sees
one less meal at Salsarita's in the foreseeable future.
E-mail him coupons at firstname.lastname@example.org