Ratings up slightly but American Idol lost teenage girls and women, gained older men

The audience for American Idol seems to be changing, as the series has lost females but gained male viewers.

Compared to last year’s, last week’s top 12 performance show lost 12 percent of its teenage girls ages 12 to 17, 22 percent of women ages 18 to 34, and 8 percent of women ages 25 to 54, according to USA TODAY’s analysis of Nielsen ratings. Overall, there are just 900,000 teenage girls watching, compared to 9.5 million women ages 25 to 54.

Among men, however, the show has gained viewers: there’s been a 7 percent increase in teenage boys 12 to 17, a five percent gain among men 18 to 34, and a 10 percent increase among men 25 to 54. There were 700,000 boys ages 12 to 17, and 6.4 million men 25 to 54.

Overall, last week’s Tuesday episode was watched by 29.9 million viewers, up .2 percent from last year.

Spotlight: Who watches ‘Idol’? [USA TODAY]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.