Although it still remains popular, viewers are fleeing from Dancing with the Stars, giving the show its worst ratings since it debuted.
USA TODAY reports that the Monday night “competitions are averaging 17.1 million viewers — 11% below last fall’s first four episodes and 15% below fall 2007 shows. Last week’s competition show lured just 16.4 million viewers, lowest since 2006.” But there’s worse news: “Tuesday results shows are down even more, drawing 12.4 million last week and averaging 13.6 million for the season — down 17% from fall 2008,” and “[a]mong the coveted 18-49 age demographic, Monday DWTS shows are down 24%, and Tuesday episodes are off 27%.”
The paper suggests that “a dull celebrity cast and counterprogramming rivals also appear to be crimping viewership,” and that’s echoed in a Los Angeles Times story that notes the show is having “its worst season since it first premiered in the summer of 2005.”
In 2008, the show helped ABC stay “ranked No. 1 among young adults at this point in the season. Now, ABC is locked in a virtual three-way tie for first with CBS and Fox, and further declines for the show could spell real trouble,” the paper reports, noting that Dancing had its best seasons in overall viewers in 2007, and had the most young viewers three years ago, in 2006.
Besides a large cast of dull celebrities, and the fact that the formula has just gotten old, it’s facing off against So You Think You Can Dance on Tuesday nights, and while the ABC show wins among overall viewers, more young viewers tune in to the Fox series. Also, SYTYCD has consistently impressive dancing rather than celebrities stumbling through dances.