Dancing with the Stars is having its lowest-rated season since season one

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.

‘Dancing With the Stars’ stumbles in popularity [USA TODAY]
‘Dancing With the Stars’ is out of step [Los Angeles Times]

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Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.