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Trading Spaces ratings return to their 2005 level

Ratings for the newly relaunched version of TLC’s Trading Spaces improved over the Paige Davis-less version, returning to where they were three years ago, but have not rebounded to the level the show reached during its peak.

The first episode, which aired following the Miss America pageant, was watched by 1.64 million people, according to The New York Daily News. And in her column yesterday, Washington Post critic Lisa de Moraes called Paige a “loser” for the week because “her initial ratings aren’t perhaps what TLC had hoped. In her two telecasts as Vindicated Paige, the past two Saturday nights, she’s averaged about 1.5 million viewers. This is better than the 750,000 to 1 million viewers the show reportedly had been doing without her in initial telecasts. It’s just not anywhere near the 4 million viewers she could count on during her previous gig,” de Mores says.

However, almost exactly three years ago, de Mores wrote that right before Paige’s firing, the show was “averaging about 1.5 million viewers,” noting that “the show was a victim of its own success, as TLC cloned it and other networks jumped on the makeover bandwagon. In one season ‘Trading Spaces’ fumbled about 40 percent of its peak audience.”

In other words, the show is back up to where it was in 2005, before Paige was fired and TLC retooled the series. With so many makeover shows now on TV, never mind a three-year gap that followed TLC’s griding the show into a barely recognizable nub, a reasonable person wouldn’t expect the show to jump back to where it was in 2002 at the peak of its popularity.

A Super Super Bowl, ‘Idol’ Give Fox a Triumphant Week [Washington Post]
TLC turns ‘Miss America’ into a hit [New York Daily News]

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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