Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Overnight TV Ratings -- Trump In Decline

The continued success of the game show "Deal Or No Deal" astonishes me. All you do is point at a box! How can people keep watching that week after week? They're gonna synidcate it five nights a week in the early evening hours next year, but it's unclear if they also intend to keep it in primetime. Surely that'll be overkill, a la "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," which just regained its mojo as a syndicated (and growing) hit with Meredith Viera only to see her probably drop it for good when she moves to "Today." But losing a third of that "Deal Or No Deal" audience was "The Apprentice," which dropped from 15 million viewers to 10 million. It clearly needs a rest and a more upscale lead in to get back on track next year. "24" did well, as did "Prison Break," but that's still cliffhangar overkill in my book. They should be broken up next season, with "Prison Break" playing nonstop in the fall and "24" in its typical slot in the winter/spring. No word yet on how Helen Mirren's HBO two-parter did, but if HBO really had hopes for it they wouldn't have debuted it on a Saturday. And Julia Louise-Dreyfuss's new sitcom "Old Christine" has performed well for enough weeks to declare the "Seinfeld" curse officially dead. (That would be the "curse" where people who have been in a good sitcom crash and burn when they deliver a really bad sitcom.

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