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]

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.