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Amazing? - July 26


Something about that number irks me, especially given that we're talking about "The Amazing Race" on GSN.

A word of explanation. "The Amazing Race", which GSN has paid $6 million for off-network broadcast rights, has averaged a 0.4 for the two weeks it has been on. Consider that the average viewership of GSN is a 0.6, and you can understand why I'm more than a bit perturbed. After all, you have a $6 million investment, and it's doing nothing for you...

Or so I thought. This from out friends at Buzzer! The Game Show Blog: "This number is 11% better than the previous show. Also, for GSN's overall ratings, this means that 2/3 of the programs in primetime are getting at least a 0.4." So basically no one is watching the most popular primetime acquisition on GSN's lineup, "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire." I find it a bit hard to believe.

But the news is not all bad, apparently. Again, going to the article: GSN's median age has also dropped quite a bit now. The primetime age median has dropped to 50 years old. Ages 18-45, which is the key demographic for advertisers, got a .22, which is 69% better than it use to be. For Adults 25-54, the show is getting a .25, a 67% increase. Ian Valentine, Senior Vice President of Programming, stated, "We couldn't be more thrilled with the first week's ratings performance of The Amazing Race. We had hoped the series would add new younger viewers and it definitely has, with our median age dropping by 12 years."

Going to an article in Reality TV Magazine: as a result of "The Amazing Race"'s addition in prime time (8:00-11:00 PM), the network has dropped its season-to-date median age from 57.5 to 50-years-old. It averaged nearly 350,000 viewers Persons 2+ per telecast, a 29 percent increase over the season-to-date average."

So apparently a 0.4 is a good thing if you're trying to drop 12 years off of a ten-year-old network's primetime slot. I'll let you figure that one out.

In other GSN numbers, "Extreme Dodgeball" is now the highest-rated show on GSN among 18-to-34-year-olds, according to the network, and in many ways it has become key to the channel's programming strategy." This according to a Newsday report. The jury is still out on Ballbreakers, though, but hey, I enjoy it.

"Big Brother" is Being Watched.

... and apparently the night to watch is, no surprise, Thursday. Last Thursday's episode, which saw amateur fondler Michael Donnellan get the royal boot, got a 5.5/10, winning the 8pm hour. Only second for the week was the Tuesday showing, and even then, it wasn't by much. Even with presidential coverage, the series scores a 5.5/9. The Saturday rating: a second-place-tying 3.3/7, typical of Saturdays when no one is watching TV. Expect these numbers to perk up once we get closer to the end of the three-month sojourn into the eyes of Big Brother.

Rocky Start for Rock Star

Two weeks in, and the news is only somewhat rosy for Mark Burnett's latest brainchild, "Rock Star: INXS". The show, which premiered against an already-established "Hell's Kitchen", came in at 3.9/6 for CBS, fourth place. For what it's worth, "Hell's Kitchen" tied NBC for the lead at 9p with 4.1/7, with a second-place 4.3/7 the week after. But back to "Rock Star" for a second. Take a look at this:

Monday, July 11: 3.9/6
Tuesday, July 12: 4.2/7
Wednesday, July 13: 3.3/6
Monday, July 18: 3.9/6
Tuesday, July 19: 4.1/7
Wednesday, July 20: 2.4/4

So the highest scores come on performance Tuesdays. So Mr. Burnett, if you're reading this, if you want to mount this next season (and if anyone will let you), concentrate more on the performances and less on the drama. Trust us on this one.

While we're on last Wednesday...

The dancing trend continues, as Fox scored big time with the summer's next big premiere, "So You Think You Can Dance". The dance battle-cum-American-Idol gave Fox the W in A18-49, 4.4, and total overnights, 6.2/11. The premiere of "So You Think You Can Dance" on FOX was a close second at 5.5/10 at 8p, but it was in the absence of NBC's greatest TV moments special where it really shot out the gate, scoring the night's best rating, 7.0/12.

Sure, we're always quick to point out that one showing does not a hit or miss make, but you can't help but wonder if we'll see more of the same this week, especially with growth in the 9pm hour.

By comparison purely, "Dancing with the Stars" scored a 9.4/15, first-place in its premiere. So while "So You Think You Can Dance" shook things up a bit, the king still stands supreme.

In other numbers...

The "blink and you missed it" finale of "The Scholar" scored a 2.9/5, down 25 percent from its opener. If ABC tries again, I'd suggest retooling the format and finding a more TV-friendly host.

"The Cut" continues to unimpress with a 2.7/5. down 50 percent from the opening showing. And just when it was getting interesting, too... Oh well...

That's all the numbers we can come up for this week. Until then, remember, the numbers never lie... and I ain't dead yet :)

Chico Alexander is still looking for tips on "Ballbreakers" and "Iron Chef America". E-mail him at chico@gameshownewsnet.com.


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