First-Half Finals - July 12
Welcome to the final exams.
We're going on a schedule here, so let's not waste any
time. The summer's half over, and it's time to see
whether our early summer shows measured up.
Last week, Hell's
Kitchen was closed for the holiday, as was the office of
Scholar-ship. For one, it would've been better if it
were closed permanently. I'll leave it to you to figure
out which one.
Let's go in order,
starting with the graduating (or in this case, flunking
out) of "Fire Me Please!" and its competition, NBC's "I
Want to Be a Hilton". Going to Mediaweek's Marc Berman:
"a combination of new and repeat footage on "Fire
Please" (Overnights: #2, 4.4/ 7; Viewers: #2, 6.18
million; A18-49: #2, 2.4/ 7) bested NBC's oddly
addictive "I Want to Be a Hilton" (Overnights: #4, 4.0/
6; Viewers: #4, 4.85 million; A18-49: #4, 2.0/ 6) by an
average 10 percent in the overnights, 1.33 million
viewers and 20 percent among adults 18-49. If you have
not seen I Want to Be a Hilton (and apparently many have
not), you're missing must see reality contestant
Latricia, whose expressions alone are worthy of a role
on a sitcom."
If you want to see entry
numbers side-by-side, you'd want to see a different
Apparently, no one will
be "fired" up to see this one go. And, no offense to my
colleague at Mediaweek, but if you have to use the
parenthetical "or series" mark, then there's a problem.
Among new entries,
Average Joe tied in the 18-49s for first with a 2.0/6,
but the news is not that assuring elsewhere. Last week's
episode at its regular time posted a 3.9/7 in the
overnights, third place, and 4.92 million viewers, again
third place. That's down in the overnights, but up in
the total viewers. So mixed results for the episode that
brought in the customary bad guys. Evidently viewers are
tired of the same-old-same-old. I know I am.
Back to "I Want to Be a
Hilton", which started weak, and continued weak. This
week? Still weak. See above numbers, which are off from
the premiere approximately 30 percent in the overnights
& viewers, and 25 percent in the adults 18-49. The good
news: it's actually up in target demos from last week.
Not weak, but definitely not a player yet either.
It was all about
"Dancing with the Stars". It started strong. It ended
strong. And while some people may question how it ended
(personally, I don't care either way. John had the
skills and Kelly had the drive), there's no questioning
this: it has posted ABC's highest summer numbers since
the first series of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"
back in 1999. Overall, the overnight ratings were up,
16.2/25; Viewers: 21.84 million; A18-49: 6.5/19. All
number one finishes, all building from the premiere. All
but a done deal for a second edition, I believe.
"Beauty and the Geek"
wasn't a dumb cookie either, as the finale broke through
the top four in its time slots on all fronts. It placed
third overall (4.0/7, up from the 2.2 in its first
week), fourth in viewers (4.06 million viewers, up from
3.17 million in the first week), and second only to the
"Dancing" rerun among adults 18-49 (1.9/7, up from the
1.6/5). When season 2 premieres, hope for a build-off.
As for the move by "The
Cut"? Well... to say that it didn't help matters much
would be a gross understatement. The first Thursday
show, digging back into the NG Archives: a narrow
number-two placing in households (5.1/9) and viewers
(6.68 million), and a number-three placing in A18-49
(2.1/7), all opposite ABC's NBA playoff matchups. The
show never quite recovered from that (and having the
stigma of being "another clone"). The Wednesday numbers
back it up, 3.1/5 in the overnights (fourth place and
down 40 percent), 4.15 million viewers (third place and
down 38 percent) and a 1.3/4 among adults 18-49 (fifth
place and down 34 percent). Ouch.
We open up a summer
tradition on a high note: "Big Brother 6". The hour-long
series premiere (as opposed to the 90-minute wingding
from last year, in which we found out that two
houseguests were blood relatives) scored with a 6.2/11
in the overnights, 8.61 million viewers and a 3.4/11
among adults 18-49 from 8p, all first place showings.
Comparatively, that was down slightly from the time
period debut of Big Brother 5 on the year ago evening
(Overnights: 6.2/11; Nationals - Viewers: 9.16 million;
A18-49: 3.7/13 on July 8, 2004). But that's okay.
Because it'll only get better from here. Hey, it's Big
Brother. Even when it's bad, it's still kinda good
(unless you're talking about the first season, when it
was essentially American Idol minus the singing).
So we give our
valedictorian award to "Dancing with the Stars", with
salutatorian going to "Beauty and the Geek". Here's to a
bright future for both. Thank you, BBC. Thank you,
And finally, a plea. If
anyone has any preliminaries for "Iron Chef America",
"The 70s House", and "Poker Royale", don't hesitate to
send them over. Same if you have other tips. Because
this is just as much your column as it is mine.
More games under the
microscope (and as for one, under the microphone) next
week. Until then, remember, the numbers never lie.
Chico Alexander was a
fan of IC since Chairman Kaga was knee-high to a yellow
bell pepper. E-mail him with tips and numbers at email@example.com