Returning summer shows draw fewer viewers than last season

American Idol end signaled the beginning of the summer reality TV season, but the shows that networks are now offering–most of which have become summer staples–aren’t performing as well as they did last year.

So You Think You Can Dance 4 leads the pack, debuting with 8.7 million viewers. While that’s “up 59% over Fox’s previous four-week Thursday night average,” it’s “down a slight 5% year-to-year,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The paper notes, however, that it didn’t lose as many viewers as “the more dramatically eroded season finales it ran against,” although it still finished behind them.

NBC’s Last Comic Standing had its “lowest rating ever,” according to THR, with just 5.9 million viewers, although it aired opposite Grey’s Anatomy’s finale. And American Gladiators‘ second season “continued to drop” with just 4 million viewers. Finally, the paper notes that The Bachlorette 4‘s debut “was down slightly from last year” with 8.8 million viewers, although the “last year” part doesn’t make sense since the show hasn’t aired in years.

This past Wednesday night had some good news. The CW’s Farmer Wants a Wife was watched by 2.8 million viewers, a low, low number but “credible numbers” for the network and “its best scores since its premiere,” Variety reports. On ABC, Wife Swap (5.8 million viewers) and Supernanny (6.6 million viewers) “were both solid,” Variety says.

‘Dance’ the night away [Hollywood Reporter]
‘Dance’ scores for Fox [Variety]

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.