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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...

Marathon Finished

For better or worse, the first "Game Show Marathon" is over. CBS' spin on the events:

"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.

More Talent

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 average.

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...

Dancing Queens

Meanwhile, "Talent's" 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 news

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.

Halfway Home

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 with?

Quoth my brother, answering both questions... "I don't know. I'm sorry."

My brother, there.

And While We're on Halfway Day...

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 pupil.

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 http://gameshownewsnet.com/extra/extra070406.html. 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 traviseberle@gmail.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.

Chico Alexander considers him a student of Linda Merrill, Ethel Fletcher, Mike Evers, Dan Huff, and Walter Cronkite. E-mail him at chico@gameshownewsnet.com.

 

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