FOX exec says Idol ratings are down because of DVR usage

The Chicago Tribune has compiled American Idol‘s ratings over all six seasons [PDF] into an incredibly informative graph that illustrates the show’s ratings share–“the percentage of television households tuning into the program”–as reported by Nielsen.

Most interesting is that, despite its ratings slide, American Idol 6 did not have a middle-of-the-season slump like every other season did; some of that may be the result of the Hollywood round being compressed into one night, or it may have been due to interest in the show caused by Antonella and Sanjaya.

What’s most obvious is that ratings have slid consistently this season for the Tuesday performance show, declining to season three and four levels. The results shows, however, have stayed relatively consistent with last year’s numbers.

Responding to the numbers, and stories about the numbers, FOX VP Preston Beckman tells the Tribune that reports about the show’s decreasing ratings “are [part of] the propaganda wars. … It’s very, very important for these other networks to make the case that ‘American Idol’ is starting to fade.” He cites DVR usage as the reason for the lower ratings, which is almost as funny as the daylight savings time excuse.

‘American Idol': Are there cracks in the facade of the Death Star? Or is Jordin vs. Blake just a less than legendary final pair? [The Chicago Tribune]

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.