American Idol 4 up four percent from season three; Carrie and Bo land on Billboard charts.

Over the 20 weeks that it aired, American Idol 4 dominated in the ratings, even improving upon itself. The show “finished up 3% in adults 18-49 and 5% in total viewers compared with the show’s third season, which crowned Fantasia the winner,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The final week was no exception: The Tuesday and Wednesday night episodes were the week’s top two shows, as 28.1 million watched Bo and Carrie perform Tuesday night, and 30.3 million watched the Wednesday night finale.

Both of the show’s finalists are also doing well, hitting the Billboard charts before their first post-Idol singles and albums are released. Carrie Underwood, who just officially signed her $1 million contract with Arista, is on two charts, according to Billboard: “On the Hot Country Songs chart, her version of Rascal Flatts’ ‘Bless the Broken Road,’ featuring the group, is new at No. 50. On the Hot Digital Songs tally, her track from the album ‘American Idol Season 4: The Showstoppers‘ (RCA), a version of Martina McBride’s ‘Independence Day’ (Arista), enters at No. 63.” And things are even better for the runner-up, as Bo “Bice’s track from the same compilation album, his take on Gavin DeGraw’s ‘I Don’t Want To Be,’ bows at No. 60.”

Still, as Billboard notes, both Carrie and Bo were bested by an eliminated finalist: “Constantine Maroulis beat them to the charts with his band Pray For The Soul Of Betty.” The band is definitely milking Constantine’s fame as much as it can; its self-titled album now sports a gigantic logo or sticker announcing the group’s connection to Constantine, and Amazon now says the album is by “Pray for the Soul of Betty Featuring Constantine Maroulis.”

‘Idol’ hands Fox weeklong, season wins
[Billboard]
Arista Records Sign American Idol 4′ Champion Carrie Underwood
American Idol Season 4: The Showstoppers
Pray for the Soul of Betty

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A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

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.