American Idol ratings have never been this low

The number of people watching Fox’s American Idol reached an all-time low this week, for both its performance and results shows.

Thursday’s episode was watched by 11.03 million viewers and had a 2.7 rating among viewers 18 to 49. Wednesday’s episode had 12.33 million viewers and a 3.2 rating. Survivor, which aired opposite Wednesday’s performance show during the first hour, had 9.43 million viewers and a 2.5 rating. Tuesday’s The Voice had 12.41 million viewers and a 4.1 rating–significantly higher, though it is in a different stage of the competition and airing on a different day.

The New York Times’ analysis says “It is still too early to crown The Voice as the new king of the singing competitions, because in its first outings this season Fox’s Idol scored notably better numbers than the first two episodes of NBC’s The Voice this week.” But it added “that may be the inescapable conclusion by the end of this season” if these trends continue.

Despite the entertainment offered by Nicki Minaj, the show has been pretty boring, especially during its ever-awful results shows. Meanwhile, viewers have already purged the finalists of all white men, and another person with a penis was voted off last night, so perhaps things will pick up when only talented women remain. Or perhaps just no one cares any more.

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.