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The Loser Wins - November 17

After what seemed like an eternity without "Friends", NBC finally has something to smile about... namely Tuesday nights. With "My Name is Earl" and "SVU" leading the charge and "The Office" still trying to find a cure for "Arrested Development Syndrome", the big story is "The Biggest Loser", which is anything but.

Last week's broadcast of The Biggest Loser 2's ninth episode scored the NBC reality show's best ratings performance of the season, setting season highs in both total viewers and the Adults 18-49 demographic.

As reported by Reality TV World's Steve Rogers, November 8 episode averaged 10.11 million overall viewers and a 4.0/11 rating/share among adults 18-49. In total viewers, the show scored 6.9/10, a score that outdid two weeks prior's 90-minute show by a tenth. These numbers show season highs not seen since the first season finale (contrary to what was reported, the show was bested by CBS' NCIS. The blurb has since been corrected with our apologies).

Additionally, the show scored first in the women 18-34 and 18-49 demos.

We've been seeing shows like these survive by the skein (pun intended) of their teeth, due to their good nature and their placement in the family-friendly 8pm hour. Why is that? Well, consider this... people overcoming adversity without the heavy use of the back-biting that has plagued other shows... a reminder that hard work and perseverance indeed pay off.

But of course, these are just my altruistic views talking. I'd love to hear what you think. E-mail me.... No one e-mails me anymore. =p

We've seen winners, now we talk losers...

These losers... just lose.

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart: last week, we only saw 5.3/8 in the overnights, 6.51 million viewers and  2.3/5 in the 18-49, all fourth place. Personally watching, I don't care if a second season was EVER in the mix, I just want the damned show gone.

Made in the USA: I can only think of one reason why this would see the light of day again... a sister cabler with a convenient niche... Oh look, here we are then!

GSN: a 0.3... Simply embarrassing for a network with such shows as "Millionaire" and "The Amazing Race" to fall back on. If it were me (and Alex went into full depth on this week's WLTI... and I happen to agree with him 115 percent), I'd count my losses and start listening to what the audience wanted, rather than force-feeding another clunker down our throats. "Ballbreakers" was supposed to have a second season, but with the show buried in Saturday nights, who's to know now?

Then again, this is the network that gave "Extreme Dodgeball" and "Lingo" a break before launching new seasons. So what else do you have in that bag of yours, Mr. Ian Valentine? I'm just DYING to know. And I'm sure the 300,000 people in America that still give two flying flips also are.

Elsewhere in the numbers...

Over to the syndication shows, which tells two different tales. Last week, we reported that "Wheel of Fortune" garnered an 8.2. This week, we have an 8.3, up 1 percent from the week before, but down 11 percent from the year before. It's still good enough to take the top spot. "Jeopardy!", on the other hand, saw double-digit drops from last year with a 6.3. This is a 32 percent drop from last year, which, if you remember, saw a combination of the Ken Jennings juggernaut and the College Championship (winner Kermin Fleming would eventually go to the UTOC himself, but would drop out in round 1). There's more, though. This is a 1 percent drop from last week, which saw the changeover from Maria Wenglinski's run to this year's College Championship.

People who report this sort of thing and get paid exorbitant amounts of money to do so are crying "panic". As for me, who does this simply as a labor of love, let's see what happens when you no longer have that pesky Jennings Quotient to factor in.

And finally...

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention this final number... 12. The number of television series produced by Ralph Edwards, amongst them the ever-revered "Truth or Consequences" and "The People's Court", and who could forget "This is Your Life". It's because of him we have Bob Barker. It's because of him that Hot Springs, NM is now Truth or Consequences, NM. And did you know that he also produced 1992's dater show, "Bzzz!"? Learn something new every day.

Because of him, broadcasting factuals is what it is today.

Good night, Ralph.

Chico Alexander never drove past Truth or Consequences, NM (the closest he came was Deming). E-mail him at chico@gameshownewsnet.com.


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