America’s Toughest Jobs’ dismal ratings send it to Saturdays

After it airs an episode Friday night, NBC’s reality competition America’s Toughest Jobs will switch nights again, moving to Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET for its penultimate episode and finale, which air Oct. 18 and 25.

That was revealed in a scheduling change released by NBC, and The Futon Critic reports that “Deal or No Deal will assume the 8:00/7:00c hour beginning October 24,” as NBC will debut its drama Crusoe at 8 on Oct. 17, and then move it to 9.

Why the move? Friday’s episode was watched by just 3.42 million viewers, and TV By the Numbers reports that the Thom Beers-produced reality series “had the worst relative performance for adults 18-49 by any show among English broadcast networks for the first week of the broadcast season from September 22-28,” and referred to “the damage being done [by it] on Friday night.”

I thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes and have been watching since then, although not with any great passion or commitment. (Friday night shows get DVRed and then sit until I remember they are there.) It’s a competently produced competition, with some strong characters and an effective concept, even if Beers’ narration sometimes over-hypes the danger to compensate for a lack of actual problems. Perhaps it belongs on cable, where 3.4 million viewers isn’t considered pathetic, it breaks records.

By the way, the most recent four episodes, in which the contestants worked on a bridge, as rodeo clowns, on an oil rig, and as monster truck drivers, are on Hulu.

NBC to Finish “Toughest Jobs” On Saturdays [The Futon Critic]
America’s Toughest Jobs Exiled to Saturday For Final 2 Episodes [TV By the Numbers]

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.