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Returning summer shows draw fewer viewers than last season

American Idol end signaled the beginning of the summer reality TV season, but the shows that networks are now offering–most of which have become summer staples–aren’t performing as well as they did last year.

So You Think You Can Dance 4 leads the pack, debuting with 8.7 million viewers. While that’s “up 59% over Fox’s previous four-week Thursday night average,” it’s “down a slight 5% year-to-year,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The paper notes, however, that it didn’t lose as many viewers as “the more dramatically eroded season finales it ran against,” although it still finished behind them.

NBC’s Last Comic Standing had its “lowest rating ever,” according to THR, with just 5.9 million viewers, although it aired opposite Grey’s Anatomy’s finale. And American Gladiators‘ second season “continued to drop” with just 4 million viewers. Finally, the paper notes that The Bachlorette 4‘s debut “was down slightly from last year” with 8.8 million viewers, although the “last year” part doesn’t make sense since the show hasn’t aired in years.

This past Wednesday night had some good news. The CW’s Farmer Wants a Wife was watched by 2.8 million viewers, a low, low number but “credible numbers” for the network and “its best scores since its premiere,” Variety reports. On ABC, Wife Swap (5.8 million viewers) and Supernanny (6.6 million viewers) “were both solid,” Variety says.

‘Dance’ the night away [Hollywood Reporter]
‘Dance’ scores for Fox [Variety]

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  • Andy Dehnart

    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.

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