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Fallen “Idol”: Audience Drop Bigger Here

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01:  Actor Rob Lowe...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

This is what I’m thinking:

* It was interesting to read in the Buffalo News Tuesday that the national ratings for “American Idol” are “only” down about 7 percent from a year ago despite the departure of judge Simon Cowell.

That was a surprisingly low defection rate because I get the sense around here that interest in “Idol” is way, way down.

So I asked a local researcher how “Idol” is doing here.

My suspicions were correct. “Idol” is down 19 percent locally from a year ago with new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler alongside Randy Jackson.

A year ago to this point, “Idol” averaged an 18.6 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on WUTV-29, the local Fox affiliate. This year on Wednesdays and Thursdays, “Idol” is averaging 15.0. That still is a very strong rating. I expect it is either No.1 in prime time in Western New York or close to it.  

I’m guessing “Idol” probably would be down even more if the shows that compete with it on Thursday nights were stronger and younger. The truth is that ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and CBS’ “CSI” are old by TV standards and losing audience at a higher rate than “Idol.”

“Idol” also benefits from never airing a repeat. This is especially beneficial for several weeks in March and April in between the sweeps months of February and May. After all,  the “Idol” competition is often in repeats in March and April.

My guess is that “Idol” is doing best nationally in smaller markets or markets in which the show had contestant tryouts.

* One of my students told me the best Charlie Sheen jokes making the rounds even if it may end up being factually incorrect.

Question: How much cocaine has Charlie Sheen used?

Answer: Enough to kill “Two and a Half Men.”

It was interesting to see a lawyer argue on “Today” that Sheen had a good case to reclaim his lost earnings in a lawsuit against Warner Brothers, which produces “Men” and fired him.

I’m no legal expert. But Warner Brothers did the humane thing to fire Sheen. It was common sense to conclude that he had to be let go in the hope that he would get his life in order.

Today’s installment about the self-proclaimed “Malibu Messiah” on “Today” featured some psychological experts who believe the actor is dangerously self-destructive and should be placed in treatment against his will.

One imagines they are potential witnesses for Warner Brothers.

By the way, “Today” reported that Rob Lowe (see above) was approached to replace Sheen on “Two and Half Men.” If true, that’s a much better casting choice than John Stamos. After all, Lowe (who went to the same high school as Sheen), was involved in a few scandals of his own before rehabilitating his image.

* Some conspiracy theorists wondered why Channel 4 anchor Melissa Holmes hasn’t been on WNLO’s morning newscast this week. They suspected it might have had something to do with her tweet to one of the daughters of Sabre Owner Terry Pegula in which she asked about a media job.

Holmes is on vacation and expected to be on the air Thursday. Anchors often go on vacation after the February sweeps. Jacquie Walker is on vacation, too.

* A reminder: Buffalo State College senior Naomi Defensor and Jamestown’s Nany Gonzalez are among the seven housemates in the tonight’s premiere of the 25th anniversary edition of the “Real World.” ”Real World: Las Vegas” airs at 10.

pergament@msn.com

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3 responses to "Fallen “Idol”: Audience Drop Bigger Here"

  1. Paul says:

    Not to blow smoke at you Alan, but it really is a glaring example of all that’s wrong with traditional media to see you do all the things the Buffalo News is no longer capable of doing. Analysis of local ratings trends, breaking news on who’s coming and going on local TV, etc. Reminds me of that scene in The Wire where the veteran reporter -who’s being moved out- catches a big story in the notes for a City Council meeting that was missed by the just out of college (aka cheaper) rookie.

    • alanp says:

      Thanks for the kind words. Please pass the site stilltalkinTV around. Everything now is through Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth. The more people who know the more hits I get. Hits are going up sharply each week.

  2. Pergy's friend says:

    Re: Melissa Holmes. Well, when someone goes missing these days in local TV or radio, and there’s no announcement, you can’t help but wonder.

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