Another Summer To Forget For The Broadcast Networks

Nellie Andreeva

What do American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, Survivor, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, Hell’s Kitchen, Big Brother, So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Got Talent and Wipeout have in common? They are broadcast TV’s biggest reality franchises of the past decade. And they all launched in the summer. Summer used to be a time for the networks to try out innovative reality formats that had never been done on the Big 4 broadcast nets (ballroom dancing or singing competitions, shows about castaways on an island or strangers locked in a house) or had been gone from primetime for a long time (game shows). Now the broadcast networks are throwing on retreads of over-exposed formats from June through August, so it’s no surprise that nothing has stuck since Wipeout launched on ABC in June 2008. A slew of newcomers came and went over the past three months: ABC’s Expedition Impossible, Take the Money & Run, Karaoke Battle USA and 101 Ways To Leave a Game Show; CBS’ Same Name, NBC’s Love In the Wild and the similar It’s Worth What?; and Buried Treasure on Fox. The only new offering on broadcast to show a pulse this summer was ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, helped by a solid lead-in and the fact that it is an offshoot of a popular franchise. Things looked as bleak on the scripted side, with ABC’s Combat Hospital, Fox’s sketch comedy In the Flow With Affion Crockett and NBC’s burnoff Love Bites barely registering. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Talent’, ‘Take The Money & Run’ And ‘Combat Hospital’ Rise

Nellie Andreeva

With Fox switching to repeats on Tuesday night following last week’s season finale of MasterChef, most of the original competition posted ratings gains. NBC’s America’s Got Talent (3.1/8 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers) was up 11% from last … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘MasterChef’ Finale Up, ‘Take The Money’ Drops

Nellie Andreeva

Fox’s MasterChef ended its season last night with a two-hour finale, averaging a 2.6/8 among 18-49. That was up 30% from last year’s two-hour finale on Sept. 15. The 8 PM episode drew a 2.4/8 and 5.9 million … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Gordon Ramsay’s Series Steady, ‘Talent’ & ‘Wipeout’ Slip

Nellie Andreeva

Fox (2.6/8 among adults 18-49, 6.2 million viewers) won Tuesday in 18-49 with Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen (2.7/9, 6.3 million) and MasterChef (2.5/7, 6.1 million), both flat vs. last week in the demo, while MasterChef drew its largest audience ever. … Read More »

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