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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 "Cops'" 4.6/9.

Will this continue into April 16's show? Probably.

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 butter...

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 bit.

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 the finale.

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.

And finally...

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.

Chico Alexander
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 chico@gameshownewsnet.com.


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