Big Bang Theory beats American Idol, but don’t write Idol’s obit yet (alas)

American Idol was beaten by CBS sit-com The Big Bang Theory during the 8 p.m. half-hour last night, but it is far from dead.

The 100th episode of the comedy had slightly more viewers 18 to 49 than the Fox series did. According to a CBS press release, that was “its best-ever deliveries in households, viewers, adults 25-54, adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 against an episode of American Idol.”

As Vulture notes, last year, “Idol trounced the Chuck Lorre sitcom, and it was rare that any show, anywhere on TV, outdrew any half-hour of Idol in the demo.” Although we’re waiting for final numbers, Deadline reports that “standings in the half-hour are expected to remain the same.”

American Idol still had more viewers overall, and it has been beaten before: by Dancing with the Stars, by CSI, and even by Big Brother. But factoring in its second half-hour, American Idol was easily the most-popular show of the night, as the numbers show.

It seems like interest is waning and there’s basically zero excitement over this season, but people still watch, and they will likely keep watching–although it’ll be interesting to see if other shows beating Idol becomes a trend this season.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.