Idol Gives Back loses 6 million Idol viewers and is down 35 percent from last year

A large chunk of American Idol 7‘s viewers weren’t interested in the show’s fundraiser telethon and parade of taped celebrity appearances that aired last night.

Just 17.5 million viewers watched, “down significantly from April 25 last year, when ‘Idol Gives Back’ earned … 26.9 million viewers overall, a 35% drop,” Variety reports, noting that “the show took a big hit from its inaugural a year ago, falling 34% in the 18-49 demo.”

Interestingly, more people tuned in last year for the telethon than watched this week’s performance. Tuesday’s episode was watched by 23.9 million viewers, compared to 26.9 million who watched Idol Gives Back last year.

Of course, despite all this, American Idol 7 is still the top show. The only other show to come close to its numbers last night was CBS’ Criminal Minds, which was watched by 13.1 million people at 9 p.m.

‘Idol’ gives back viewers [Variety]

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.