See what insane if inflated ratings will get you? This just in from Fox:Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? will air four original one-hour episodes Thursdays, March 29, April 5, April 12 and April 19, at 8 pm/ET. This is in addition to the previously announced airings Thursdays, March 8 (at 9 pm), March 15 and 22 (at 8).
Question: I just finished watching Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? There's a half hour of my life that I will never get back! It's not that the premise of the show was all that bad, it's just that there were too many commercials. In fact, there were so many commercials that they only got through five questions in the entire half hour. The same thing drives me nuts with Deal or No Deal (a game that literally could be played in less than five minutes). Why don't networks realize that they are killing their own shows with all of these commercials? I understand that shows are getting costlier to produce and that networks have lost a lot of their audience to cable networks, but I thought game shows were traditionally cheaper to produce. So why all the commercials? Is it simply corporate greed?
Answer: And this somehow surprises you? I agree. I find this new wave of prime-time game/quiz shows excruciating. Not because they're silly, which they mostly are (they're ultimately harmless). But
This Tuesday, as the 90-minute American Idol averaged 30.44 million total viewers (a week-to-week bump of one million, this despite Sanjay's disturbing li'l outfit).... NCIS (16.2 million) was up 840,000, while Gilmore Girls stood pat with 4.08 mil. At 9, The Unit (12.81 million) surged 1.25 mil to deliver its best numbers since Oct. 10. Veronica Mars (2.74 mil) inched up 400K from last week's season low. Not at all surprisingly, Fox's Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? quiz show enjoyed a big ol' ride on Idol's coattails at 9:30, debuting to an audience of 26.57 million. UPDATE: Fox notes that this is its highest-rated series premiere ever, and the most-watched series debut on any network in eight-and-a-half years (since NBC's Jesse, Sept. 1998). SVU drew 11.72 million (down 220 thou), besting a Criminal Minds repeat (10.52 mil) and ABC's Bob Woodruff special )10.11 mil).