The showdown between American Idol and Survivor seems to have impacted both series negatively, though the Fox singing competition easily beat the CBS reality competition with about twice the number of viewers. Survivor, though, was the real loser: its truly awesome opening episode had fewer viewers than any other regular broadcast in its history.
Among critical viewers ages 18 to 49, Survivor Redemption Island had 29 percent fewer viewers than last spring’s all-star season debut, while Idol dropped 21 percent to a comparative episode last spring, according to TV By the Numbers, which says Survivor had “its lowest rated regular episode ever.”
Overall, an average of 11.168 million people watched the best first episode Tribal Council ever, and 20.696 million were bored by the Hollywood round’s manufactured drama. Remember that CBS effectively brought this on themselves by changing their schedule, which prompted Fox to move Idol.
The scary part about this is that they obviously brought Rob and Russell back to be ratings draws. And something tells me the way networks and producers think sometimes, the low ratings are not going to be blamed on Rob and Russell fatigue, but if the show is renewed, it will lead to even more gimmicks to try to inflate ratings.