Three Days After Halfway
Day - July 6
Those of you with a calendar will notice that last
Sunday was "Halfway Day". 2006 is half way done, and it
would appear that so is the summer, so we're going to
take a look at the shows that have passed as well as the
shows that kicked off the second half...
For better or worse, the
first "Game Show Marathon" is over. CBS' spin on the
"Game Show Marathon"
was first in households (4.7/9), viewers (6.83m), adults
25-54 (2.2/07) and adults 18-49 (1.7/06). "Game Show
Marathon" won its time slot in households and viewers
every week it aired and won its time period in adults
18-49 and adults 25-54 for the second consecutive week.
Here's what they won't
tell you. The numbers paled in comparison to the
premiere week and to the previous week's "Match Game"
episode (5.5/10 in the overnights, with 7.47 million
viewers watching). No matter what the product, a show is
expected to build to a big finale. And anything less is
unacceptable of a hit status. The show as a whole is, at
best, only a modest hit, and at worst, not a hit at all.
Some people are noting
that CBS would be nothing short of foolish to mount a
second Game Show Marathon, but hey, if CBS brought back
"Rock Star", then why the hell not? A few things just
need to be ironed out, many of which we went into detail
on last week's We Love to Interrupt.
Newsflash: Regis saves
another network. "America's Got Talent's" third week
scores are in, and NBC is crowing volumes about it:
On Wednesday, the
second episode of "America's Got Talent" was the #1 show
of the week in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers. "Talent"
improved by 52 percent versus NBC's adult 18-49 average
in this Wednesday time period last summer and by 19
percent versus the network's regular 2005-06 season slot
Here's what the network
isn't saying. The premiere week, the show scored 8.8/14
in the overnights and 12.14 million viewers. Week two
did win the hour, but with a 7.5/12 in the overnights,
11.14 million viewers, down 15 to 17 percent.
But there is good news.
Last night, week 3 gave us a time-winning 8.2/13, with
11.85 million viewers. Still off of premiere sampling,
but very strong compared to last week. Hopefully we'll
see more eyes watching as we move into the semi-finals.
At least that's what NBC is hoping, as it moves the show
up half-an-hour. Will the gambit pay off? Stay tuned...
chief rival, Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance", has the
networks once again conceding that this is another one
of the big watches this summer. Last week, the show
finished in the winners' circle with a 6.4/11 in the
overnights, 8.64 million viewers, and a 3.4/11 among
adults 18-49. This week, more of the same with a 7.4/12
(second to "Talent"), 10.33 million viewers, and 4.2/12
in the demo.
I'm thinking that Fox is
readying a release officially picking up a third-season.
But not all is good
It seems like for each
summer hit, there's a summer miss. "Fear Factor's" swan
song season continued on a relatively quiet note with a
4.0/7, with 5.66 million viewers, down from 4.1/7 and
5.77 million viewers a couple of weeks ago. Again,
doesn't really register until you figure in that this
past Tuesday, "Outrageous TV Moments", the show that
replaced it TWICE this season, scored 5 million viewers
to win the time slot on the Fourth of July.
Meanwhile, the show that
it leads into, "Last Comic Standing", is beginning to
court males with a third-place 5.0/8, 7.07 million
viewers watching. This was down from a 5.3/8, and 7.45
million the week prior, and 6.0/9 in the overnights,
9.02 million viewers the week prior to that.
Which has me asking...
what exactly are we looking for here that people are
actually leaving? Perhaps they're all sleeping it out
until the stage round?
It gets worse for NBC's
"Treasure Hunters", which continues to disappoint with a
3.2/6, down from a 4.2/7 for the premiere and a 3.9/6
for its follow-up.
Stick to bald guys and
briefcases for your Mondays, NBC.
And now, the other half
of the summer, which typically belongs to CBS with its
combination of Big Brother and... whatever is on with
Big Brother. Unfortunately, since it isn't a game show,
we don't cover it.
Even worse news, for the
past couple of years, it's been the search for a new
"Rock Star". While the product is usually pretty good
television, it hasn't translated into viewers.
Last year's "Rock Star",
which saw JD Fortune go from zero to guitar hero with
INXS, had its finale scored as the most watched episode
last season with a 5.6/9 in the overnights, 7.90 million
viewers and a 3.9/10 among adults 18-49. Any buildup
this year? Hardly. The show got reamed at 8p by "Dance"
and "Talent" with a 3.6/6 in the overnights, 5.34
million viewers, and a 2.2/7.
Which begs two questions,
1) if you build a supergroup that doesn't exist with
rock legends and a yet-unnamed singer, does it indeed
stand a snowball's chance in today's changing music
scene, and 2) why did CBS bring back this show to begin
Quoth my brother,
answering both questions... "I don't know. I'm sorry."
My brother, there.
And While We're on
A big thanks to you, the
viewers of this site, for giving us half a million hits
for the first half of this year. Again, we're here for
the game and we're here for you, and we're here because
of you. So thank you, and please continue to log on. I
happen to believe that our best years are ahead of us.
You know I'm right... unless of course I'm not right.
And if I'm not right, I'll gladly admit it.
The Weekly Rant, or
thanks, Tom Heald, for putting the image of the
short-lived ghost of Ann Jillian in my head.
The last season of TPIR
saw an interesting trend not having to do with any of
the games or any of the action on stage.
In fact, you could say
that the least important thing about this trend IS the
stage, since it involves people who are not even allowed
to go on it.
That, of course, would be
either former contestants, or other game show hosts. And
since I only know of a few former contestants that would
be invited to sit in the audience's VIP section...
Last season, there had
been somewhat of an uptick of people invited to sit in
the hallowed row at 33, among them Todd Newton of
"Whammy!", Guillermo Huesca of "Trato Hecho", and a
dapper guy in a suit named Mike. And it got me
thinking... could they have been doing some studying in
the off-chance that Bob Barker would name a successor?
You've heard me rant on
this before, the importance of master and disciple as
crucial to the survival of the game show genre. I would
imagine that Bob Barker, try as he might, could not
sustain any long period of time hosting "The Price is
Right", nor would I suspect that he would want to try.
So in this aspect, I would not be surprised if he
secretly has a short-list of people who he believes
would do justice to the franchise, and if he has
secretly imbedded them into the audience to see if they
can pick up a few tricks from the master.
The death of Jan Murray
this last week only confirmed that such a relationship
can only solidify the game show as we know it. After
all, what would "Deal or No Deal" be without a bit of
"Treasure Hunt"? I suppose that in that case, one could
count Howie Mandel and Geoff Edwards before him as
students of the erstwhile comic.
What the future holds is
anyone's guess, but the future would look very bright so
long as the great teacher continues to, either directly
or indirectly, quietly or blatantly, search for an apt
One last thing...
We at GSNN are all about
interactivity. If you haven't nominated for the 2006
Game Show Awards yet, please do so at
Also, my fellow columnist Travis Eberle wants to know a)
if you read his "On the Buzzer" and b) how you felt if
he were to reduce his coverage to twice a month or less.
E-mail him at
email@example.com with your thoughts.
Meanwhile, "The Numbers Game" is going to take a couple
of weeks off for Game Show Congress 5. Hope to see you
in Burbank. Just look for the short bald guy with the
bright smile in the 1up beanie.
considers him a student of Linda Merrill, Ethel
Fletcher, Mike Evers, Dan Huff, and Walter Cronkite.
E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.