American Idol’s finale ratings down 20 percent compared to last year

American Idol 6‘s finale was watched by 30.4 million people, way down from the record 36.3 million people who watched last year. That’s “down about 20% vs. a year ago,” Variety reports. In its last half-hour, the show “drew about 35 million viewers,” compared to the 42.9 million who watched last year’s final half hour. The show may have peaked last year.

On Tuesday night, 24.5 million people watched the final performance show, which was “down 23 percent from 31.8 million on the same night last year,” Media Life reports. Its rating among 18- to 49-year-olds was “one of its lowest ratings of the year and off 24 percent.”

Still, according to Variety, the “results show will finish the season as television’s No. 1 program among adults 18-49, marking the fourth straight year that the franchise has claimed the top spot.”

‘Idol,’ ‘Lost’ finales down [Variety]
Down note for Fox’s penultimate ‘Idol’ [Media Life]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.