Nine of the top 20 shows in 2007-2008 were reality; Idol’s performance show takes #1

The 2007-2008 TV season has ended, and after being interrupted by the writers’ strike, reality TV occupies nine of the top 20 spots, and six of the top 10. And America has a new number one TV show: the American Idol performance show.

Those numbers are a bit misleading; the six in the top 10 represent just two programs: American Idol, which had two episodes a week, and Dancing with the Stars, which aired two episodes a week for two separate seasons. Thus, just like last year, they take six of the top seven spots, according to the New York Times compilation of Nielsen data.

Overall, Idol averaged 28.75 million viewers on Tuesdays (down from 30.1 million viewers) and 27.78 million viewers on Wednesdays (down from 30.6 million last year). The results show switched places with the performance show, the new number one show in the country.

Survivor China took the 12th spot, averaging 15.18 million viewers, while the superior season, Survivor Micronesia, came in at 18 with an average of 13.55 million viewers a night. Moment of Truth, the hybrid game and reality show that Fox intends to air against Survivor Gabon, came in number 13, behind China, with a difference of just over a half million viewers.

Rounding out the top 20 was Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which averaged 13.13 million viewers.

The Top 20 Shows of the Season [New York Times]

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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.