America’s Got Talent beats Hell’s Kitchen, which beat Big Brother, which is losing viewers

In their first Tuesday evening showdown, Gordon Ramsay and his crew of dumbass Hell’s Kitchen chefs easily won more viewers than Big Brother‘s crew of dumbasses. But America’s Got Talent drew more viewers than the other two shows combined.

The three reality series faced off at 9 p.m., when 6.966 million people watched Hell’s Kitchen 6, 5.792 million watched Big Brother 11, and 13.638 million watched America’s Got Talent 4, according to TV By the Numbers.

Meanwhile, NPR blogger Linda Holmes suggested in a fascinating essay that the obnoxious Big Brother bigots “are cast because they would probably do something hateful that can be seen on the Internet but censored from the show, leaving people aghast,” and that “people who ‘expose’ these alleged cover-ups aren’t foiling CBS’s plans; they’re fulfilling them” by driving interest and ratings. It’s a really interesting theory.

Alas, the scandal hasn’t increased overall viewers; instead, Big Brother 11 is shedding viewers except for those in their 20s and early 30s. The show debuted with 6.59 million viewers but had, and lost 10 percent of its viewers ages 18 to 49 from last Sunday to this Sunday, and lost 17 percent of those young viewers between Thursday episodes.

Media Life reports that the show is down on all three nights: Sundays (“down 5 percent in 18-49s” and “down 5 percent among total viewers”), Tuesdays (“down 9 percent in 18-49s” and “flat in total viewers”), and Thursdays (down “16 percent from last year’s season average in 18-49s”). However, it “is gaining is in 18-34s, perhaps because of the controversy,” Media Life says.

Hell’s Kitchen Returns Down; Still Shouts Fox To Victory [TV By the Numbers]
CBS Censors A Racist Rant [NPR]
‘Big Brother’ dips after slurs are blipped [Media Life]

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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.