Record 36.3 million watch Idol 5’s finale; 42.9 million watched the last half-hour

Despite the sort of obvious conclusion, American Idol 5‘s two-hour finale spectacular was watched by 36.3 million people, the most-watched finale in five seasons, and the fourth most-watched program this year.

During the last half-hour, 42.9 million were watching. It began “with 27.4 million viewers and 10.5/32 in 18-49, climbing steadily to a peak of 42.9 million and an astounding 17.0/38 in its final half-hour,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Those are “gains of double-digit percentages compared with last year’s finale” among total viewers and those 18 to 49, Variety reports. The Hollywood Reporter puts it in simpler terms, noting that the viewership “was nearly nine times the population of Hicks’ native state of Alabama and the most-watched ‘Idol’ finale yet.”

Huge turnout sees Hicks get ‘Idol’ crown [The Hollywood Reporter]
‘Idol’ finale draws 36 million [Variety]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

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.