Dancing with the Stars reaches ratings high, has led to “renewed interest in ballroom dance”

ABC’s Dancing with the Stars continues to steamroll all other television shows this summer. This past Wednesday’s episode, during which NKOTB’s Joey McIntyre was sent home, gave the series its highest ratings yet. 18.59 million watched the show, and Variety reports that its “5.6 rating/17 share in adults 18-49 … [was] up 27% week-to-week in the demo, according to Nielsen.”

Next week is the series finale, on which John O’Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen will dance off against Playboy Playmate Kelly Monaco and Alex Mazo.

The series has led to “renewed interest in ballroom dance,” the Christian Science Monitor reports. “Independent dance studios … are reporting an increase in attendance,” the paper said. One studio’s “website had a 600 percent increase in visitors in the 12 hours after ‘Dancing with the Stars’ premiered.”