16.9 million watch Apprentice 2 finale, fewer than last season’s clip show.

16.9 million watch Apprentice 2 finale, fewer than last season’s clip show.
The ridiculous overextended, audience-centered, cheesy, moronic three-hour finale of The Apprentice 2 backfired on NBC–and not just among disappointed critics and fans. The show was watched by an average of 16.9 million viewers, 40 percent fewer than the average of 28 million who watched last season’s finale. It “did not snag even as many viewers as had an ‘Apprentice’ clip show from the first edition. That show nailed 17.5 million viewers last spring and was the smallest Thursday audience for the show last season,” The Washington Post reports. Worse, a rerun of CSI beat the second hour, which of course is when Donald Trump gave up control and let Regis take over. Get your rubber boots on, because NBC’s press release about the finale spins these numbers in hilarious ways. It points out that the episode won “every Thursday half-hour in adults 18-49 and winning the night in all key demographics and total viewers,” “gave NBC its highest Thursday primetime average since premiere week and its largest overall viewer total (excluding Olympics) since the May 13 finale of ‘Frasier,’” and was “the highest-rated finale for an unscripted series in adults 18-49 since the finale of ‘American Idol’ on May 26 of last season.” An updated press release says the show “generated a total audience of more than 30 million viewers who watched all or some of the telecast.”
+ also: a comparison between Apprentice season one and season two.

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.