So You Think You Can Dance has strong debut as Rock Star sinks and Brat Camp stays solid

So you think there’s nothing else on TV so people will watch a pretty poor copy of American Idol, one that’s so cheap the contestants wear hand-written numbers and get cast by the producer rather than real judges? If so, you’d be right. (Hell, even Virginia Heffernan hates it.)

FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance came out of the gate with strong numbers: 10.3 million viewers watched. Variety says that’s “pretty close to what ‘American Idol’ launched to in June 2002 (4.8/14 in 18-49, 9.9 million).” Those numbers also make the show the number two premiere of the summer, behind Hit Me Baby One More Time and just ahead of Brat Camp.

FOX’s Mike Darnell was surprised by the strong ratings. He says, “It was a shocking number for us, because it’s not been a summer where everything (in reality) has launched. We didn’t see this number coming.”

Brat Camp, by the way, was watched by 9.36 million viewers, which, in its made-up language, Variety says “declined a mere 5% from its strong week-earlier preem, looking good despite tougher competish.”

Rock Star, on the other hand, had “the lowest scores of its five episodes this summer as it moved to its new 9 o’clock slot,” and was watched by just 3.31 million.

Fox ‘Dance’ dazzles [Variety]

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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.