What Have We Learned - December 1
Lots of stuff to go
through as sweeps comes to a close. So what have we
win. For the most part, "The Biggest Loser's"
victories were few and far this season, but it came on
strongest where it counted, last Tuesday's two-hour
season finale. After hearing the jibes of both CBS's "NCIS"
and Fox's "Bones", "Loser" won the night with a rating
that grew from a second-place 8.8/13 at 8pm to an
astonishing 11.1/16 in the final half-hour, when indeed
the Biggest Loser was revealed. The
show even bettered last January's first-season finale by
12 percent and helped NBC to its highest Tuesday 18-49
rating from 8 to 10 p.m. in four years, according to
Media Life Magazine.
It's a welcome
surprise for a show that has seen its share of feasts
and famines (no pun intended), as a third season and
several mini-competitions are now planned. Now NBC has a
leg to stand on to further promote the show. "Survivor"
has the number one ranking. "The Amazing Race" has its
Emmy wins. "American Idol" has Simon. Now we have
something for "The Biggest Loser". And it's a long time
come for a midseason hit turned fall ambition.
NBC averaged a 6.6 rating and a 16 share among 18-49s
last night, likely pushing it ahead of Fox for good for
third place during November sweeps. Going into last
night, both networks had averaged a 3.2 rating during
the period. Fox was second last night at 4.3/11.
singers make for good Idol footage, but stretched out an
entire hour... not so much. VH1's "But Can They
Sing?", adapted from a format that NBC killed a while
back, should've stayed dead, according to popular
opinion. In the beginning, 400,000 viewers, give or take
a few thousand, tuned in to hear if nine celebrities,
trained in the art of vocal pop performance could stand
up to the big stage?
The answer, a
resounding NO. No, no, no, no, no.
And the viewers,
who, as we like to point out, are smarter than
programmers give them credit for, have tuned out to the
tune of 24 percent from the last show.
media buyer, "The program never seemed to ignite the
viewer involvement or really the celebrity commitment
necessary to build a week-to-week following. 'Sing' was
formulaic, which by definition makes it somewhat
If this is
really true, then perhaps Fox should rethink "Skating
with Celebrities", as that is as formulaic as Fox
reality shows have ever... wait, they slotted it? Oh
well, as my mom always told me, if you don't hear,
And Fox is going
to have a really bad feeling on the day after this show
Stewart... A cancellation is still a cancellation.
It means you ain't coming back no more. It might've
worked had Donald wanted to bench this particular season
of his version, but you all know how the Donald is.
And even though
his version is also slumping, he'll keep said spotlight
on him for at least another half year. Speaks to his
character as a media ho, now doesn't it?
Jennings is a blessing and a curse. This sweep,
while Jeopardy! remains the definitive American quiz, it
suffered double digit drops as a result of last year's
invasion of the definitive American quiz contestant.
Sure the loyal and true J!-heads among us will stay to
the show until the very end, which, we hope, isn't for a
long time, but only with a new force to be reckoned with
will we see the same number as we did last year this
brought the game show back into the mainstream... and he
took it with him when he left.
next one under miscellany...
From time to
time, I like to step away from the Numbers Game and just
go off on subjects that I find interesting. After all,
this is my space, so why not? So if you'll let me, I'll
just muse that the things I learn surfing the web for an
update for this site are quite astounding. For example,
one of our favorite sites to visit is the Futon Critic.
This place is basically everything you need to know if
you plan on getting in "the business". And the things we
find here are just amazing sometimes.
For example, and
this is from a 2004 NATPE report... Did you know that
there had been plans for an American version of the BBC
quizzer "The Enemy Within"? Pitched for syndication
in 2003 by Sony, it was to have Jay Thomas in the role
of Nigel Lythgoe as players, one of whom knows the
answer to all of the questions beforehand, play the game
not only to win the prize money at the end, but to sniff
out the cheat amongst them. The original still airs
Sundays on BBC America, and is one of my all-time
It was not
picked up. Damn. Could've been interesting to see what
could've been, but I'm more interested to see what went
For one, this
sort of show seems like it could've stood a chance at
GSN, BUT this was when GSN was trying to distance
themselves from the game shows that made the network.
And we all know what happened then. Almost every show
spawned by the GSN gambit folded, except, ironically,
for the card games and Extreme Dodgeball. But perhaps
it's time for Sony, should they still own the American
rights to produce and distribute, to revisit the format,
as GSN revisits game shows in general.
Alexander wishes his sister a happy birthday. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.