Miss America ratings up 257 percent among people 18 to 24

Ratings for the Miss America pageant on Monday were down overall, dropping 20 percent from last year. But among the 2.4 million people who watched, those ages 18 to 24 increased by 257 percent from last year. As a result, “CMT placed second in all of basic cable” among people that age.

That increase was attributed to the two-hour, Pageant School: Becoming Miss America special, which replaced CMT’s plans for a full reality series, Finding Miss America, which CMT says “was seen by over 16 million viewers across ten total plays on CMT, VH1 and MTV.” (On Monday, I predicted ratings for the pageant would be down because that special sounded boring, and clearly, I misjudged some 18- to 24-year-olds’ appetite for pageantry.)

In a press release, CMT VP Sarah Brock and Miss America CEO jointly said (how do two people say the same exact thing?) that host Mario Lopez also helped bring in younger viewers.

“Introducing the Pageant to a younger audience was one of our primary goals, and we’re thrilled to have delivered such a significantly younger audience in the span of just one year,” they “said” in the statement. “The strategic play of supportive programming across CMT, MTV and VH1, combined with an updated pageant format, stellar marketing effort and the appeal of a host like Mario Lopez, all played roles in appealing to a younger demo.”

The ‘2007 Miss America Pageant’ on CMT Soars With Younger Audience [CMT press release]