Miss America Reality Check ends tonight, followed by live, HD pageant Saturday

Miss America: Reality Check, the reality series following the Miss America contestants, concludes its four-episode run tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

That is “the latest in multiple makeovers to the show in recent years, all in an effort to save the storied ceremony,” according to The New York Daily News, which reports that the show “averaged 1.35 million viewers in its first telecast Jan. 4, and last week averaged 989,000 viewers,” although those numbers exclude repeats.

The actual pageant airs Saturday at 8 (in HD), and will feature one finalist selected by viewers. Some of reality TV’s conventions will infuse the proceedings. “The losers will be asked for their commentary on the finalists, perhaps a chance to fire some zingers of their own,” the AP reports.

These changes follow years of declining ratings and changing networks, and the show has “already tried a menu of reality TV gimmicks, dropped the sashes, brought back the sashes and promised a return to old-school glamor,” the AP says. But Miss America Organization chair Sam Haskell said, “I don’t think the past attempts were enough; they were little Band-Aids. In order for us to survive –and I want us flourish, not just survive — we need a younger generation to support it and find it entertaining.”

‘Miss America’ gets some TLC [New York Daily News]
Fishing for younger viewers, pageant mocks Miss America [AP]