BB11 had more viewers than last year, same among 18-49; Julie Chen interviews Natalie

Big Brother 11 ended its season with higher ratings than the 10th season drew last summer, but was still below the previous summer season. Tuesday’s drawn-out finale had a few more viewers than last summer’s, as it was watched by 7.9 million people, up slightly from the 7.58 million who watched last year.

Overall, the season had more viewers than last summer, as it “was up +7% in viewers (7.15m from 6.68m), +5% in adults 18-34 (2.0/07 from 1/9/06). +3% in adults 25-54 (3.1/08 from 3.0/08) and even in adults 18-49 (2.5/08),” according to a CBS press release.

While the finale didn’t leave much time for insightful discussion, CBS has posted a 10-minute interview with the finalists that mostly focuses on Natalie. Like her awesome interview with Braden, Julie Chen gets much closer to the Probstian model here, although Natalie is not quite held accountable.

Natalie did get a strong response when talking about her reaction to Jessie’s eviction, because she lied and said her reaction then was fake: “Maybe I need to start crying to blend in with them [Lydia].” When the audience reacted, Natalie said, in disbelief, “is it not true?” Like most things you say, no.

Julie Chen also told Natalie that her meeting with her boyfriend and his proposal “was a little bit of an awkward moment” and “looked weird.” Natalie actually had a good response, saying, “I felt so completely rude and off-base” because “I didn’t know how to react … I was speechless … it was a shock.”

Here’s the extended interview:

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.