A Home at the End of the
World - April 13
So we have some fights and some money, all in this week (and a day) late
edition of the Numbers Game entitled "A Home at the End of the World". The title
is relevant, trust me. Let's play!
Saturday's Night's All Right for Pricing...
Let's start with the money.
If you divided the top stake of $1 million amongst everyone who watched last
Saturday's "Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular," then I'd be expecting a
check from CBS in the amount of... somewhere about 13 cents. That night's game
helped CBS to a victory on Saturday, a night usually reserved for a) repeats of
hit shows, b) the dregs of reality television, and c) Fox's usual one-two punch
of "Cops" and "America's Most Wanted."
Historically, TPIR Million Dollar specials have done well for the network, so
much to the point where as soon as the network airs them, the network is
ordering more of them (well, maybe not THAT much...). But you would have to go
back to the 1986 specials to see an era of primetime Price that couldn't hold
its own against the competition (of course, it doesn't hurt the argument to
mention that said competition was "The Cosby Show").
At 8pm, CBS got a 5.0/10 from the show to win
the hour last Saturday. It also placed #1 in total viewers with 7.79 million
(hence, the 13 cent check), but was second to "Cops" in adults 18-49, a still
respectable 2.0/8 to Fox's 2.3/9. One of 2003's showings on May 17 gave CBS the
win, as TPIR scored 5.7/10 to Outrageous Game Show Moments' 4.1/7. That year,
CBS reran them until the end of June. That December, TPIR scored a 5.7/11. to
Will this continue into April 16's show?
Will we see more Million Dollar Spectaculars in
the future? Maybe.
Moreover, are we going to finally get a million
dollar winner? Come on, CBS. Don't promise me popcorn then take away my
If there was one problem that I personally had, it was that to me it felt
like they had to attach a theme to each show. I like seeing the show's greatest
moments as much as anyone, but after Bob's Birthday, it started to go downhill a
An Uphill Fight for The Contender?
I remember reading over at a news outlet that I frequent for the site that
viewership for "The Contender" was starting to inch slightly. But is that a true
assessment? Well, if you're a member of NBC's press department, the answer is an
unassuming "yes." If you're anyone else, the answer is either "I don't watch
that show" or "It depends on who you ask." For arguments' sake, let's go with
the latter answer. And let's start with the Sunday debut.
The overall rating for Sunday's timeslot debut
in Adults 18-49 was only 2.7/7, meaning that it drew just a 7 percent share of
the younger adult audience. By comparison, its first two episodes had drawn a
4.0/10 and a 4.7/12 share in Adults 18-49. In total, only about 6.7 million
viewers watched the show, a significant drop from the 8 to 9 million that had
watched the first two episodes.
Acid test... not a failure, but not a resounding
success. According to Reality TV World's Wade Paulsen, although it
outperformed the previously-scheduled "American Dreams" in the time period among
Adults 18-49, a fourth-place finish in that demographic in the time slot "isn't
the type of performance that NBC expected of a show that is costing it $2
million an episode."
The next week's episode improved on total
viewers, 7.8 million, but still smaller than the premiere sampling.
This past Sunday's episode was seen by 6.37
million, charting third to CBS and ABC at the time.
So again, while the numbers aren't anything to
write home about, they are dancing around a level where you could say that the
show isn't that much of a failure, nor is it a bright spot. But do the numbers
warrant $2 million an episode? I don't think so. Something's gotta give before
Idols and Revelations
Part of this column is not only a look at what happened before, but also a
look at what will happen in the future. That said, here's a quick question. What
do idols and revelations have in common?
The answer: a time slot.
This week, "American Idol's" results show is airing opposite NBC's much-hyped
Apocalypse-themed miniseries "Revelations". While "Idol" has taken the number
one slot in every time period it aired - and there's really nothing to suggest
that it wouldn't do it again tonight - Fox is leaving little to chance,
especially given its faltering sitcom "Life on a Stick". The gameplan: extend
the results show to an hour and preempt "Life" until another week. Whether it's
sharpening the knife that will lead to "Revelations'" own apocalypse or just
softening the blow for the Fox night overall remains to be seen.
After the last couple of weeks, it's safe to say that for all intents and
purposes, "The Bachelor" has about as much life left as any of its romantic
made-for-TV couples (Trista & Ryan excluded). This season, with "Sliders"
co-star Charlie O'Connell (and before I get any mail on the topic, he was in one
season with his brother, the more familiar Jerry), the show tried all the hooks
that it couldn't with Byron Velvick's age or Jen Schefft's decision that, as far
as true televised love is concerned, playin' is far more lucrative.
Last Monday's episode 5.5/8 in the overnights,
7.49 million viewers, and a 3.3/8 among adults 18-49. All of which are
fourth-place numbers. The two-hour premiere three weeks ago: 5.9/9 in the
overnights, 8.26 million viewers, and a 3.7/9 among adults 18-49. Again, all of
which are fourth-place numbers. And I just had a thought... "The Bachelor
Unplugged"... How apropos.
A message to ABC: as with all relationships, TV-packaged or otherwise,
there's a time for love and a time for letting go.
And speaking of time, that's ours for this week.
Next week, love and basketball. Until then, remember... the
numbers don't lie.
will spare himself the whole series and just announce that he and some stranger
broke up five days after this column went to press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.