Viewers no longer worship 'American Idol'
Ratings for the singing competition are at a decade low. Even 'Duck Dynasty' is pulling in a larger audience in TV's most-sought after demographic.
Ratings for the onetime must-see show on News Corp.'s (NWS) Fox network recently hit a decade low, according to Advertising Age. Its numbers have been on the decline for years, which isn't surprising given the show's longevity. But one recent broadcast drew just 13.1 million viewers, the fewest since August 2002, Ad Age notes, citing Nielsen data.
Not only has ABC's "Modern Family" and CBS' (CBS) "Big Bang Theory" bested it among viewers 18 to 49 -- the demographic that advertisers most covet -- but as Vote for the Worst recently pointed out, so has "Duck Dynasty," a show chronicling the adventures of millionaire hillbillies who own a duck-call business. What makes this noteworthy is that the program is on A&E, a cable channel.
Other commentators have also noted how far the program has fallen even amid the reported feud between judges Nicki Manaj and Mariah Carey. A spokesperson for Fox couldn't immediately be reached.
"Showrunners feared having to compete against the program that insiders called 'The Death Star,'" said Entertainment Weekly last week. "Nowadays, that’s no space station. Idol is just another moon in the orbit of primetime, minding its own business, not causing much trouble."
The show still attracts huge audiences, and its staying power is remarkable. But the program's troubles may have financial ramifications. Most TV advertising is sold in advance and is priced based on the show's anticipated audience. If the ratings fall short of these expectations, advertisers are due what's known as make-goods, essentially free commercial time.
That could be bad news for shares of News Corp., recently just under $30, which have surged about 16% this year.
--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
when they started making the show more about lame judges (the 2 idiot girls) that are on the show this year, they seem to think that this is entertaining get back to having the singers sing and tell the judges to just shut up you would see more people tuning in the people can't stand the judges
at least when Simon was a judge he told them when they suck now you just cater to them so the judges get more airtime that is so stupid
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Reports say the generous benefactor behind the huge gratuities is a former PayPal executive.
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