Donald Trump gets his ass kicked by TAR, Undercover Boss; Life reached 33.8 million

On Sunday, the showdown between three reality series seems to have a clear loser, and it’s Donald Trump and his number-one show in the universe. Celebrity Apprentice 3 lost 19 percent of its viewers ages 18 to 49 from the premiere, in part because the two-hour episode aired against both The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss, which were delayed by 50 minutes because of basketball overruns.

In his first hour, Trump had 6.37 million viewers, half of Phil Keoghan and company’s average of 12.45 million viewers. At 10, 13.598 million watched Undercover Boss–which remained as formulaic as ever–while an average of 7.346 million watched Trump fire Sinbad. (TV By the Numbers has the raw ratings broken into half-hours, which I averaged together.)

Meanwhile, Discovery and the BBC’s nature documentary series Life debuted last night and was watched by 33.8 million viewers across its seven-network simulcast. That’s all people age two and above who watched for more than one minute.

Variety’s Michael Schneider says it “averaged 9.4 million viewers,” while Discovery’s release points out that on the Discovery Channel alone, 11.8 million people watched (overall, not average), which is “nearly [2 million] more than the debut of Planet Earth (10.2 [million]).”

I joked on Twitter that 33.8 million is the same number of commercials as the two-hour debut had, which irritated people. Certainly, the network has to pay for the expense of producing such amazing footage, but interrupting it constantly makes it seem a little less spectacular.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.