Miércoles 27 de Junio de 2007, Ip nº 196

The unlikely rise of talent shows
Por Joanna Pearlstein


That was my reaction when I looked over Nielsen's ratings of the 2006-2007 television season. This past year, 6 of the top 10 shows were talent shows -- American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. (Each show airs both a competition episode and a results episode each week. Translation: lots of things to rate.) Meanwhile, either our appetite for comedy has waned (unlikely), or the comedies suck. Five years ago, 5 of the top 25 shows were comedies; today, just two are. Reality shows, as you've probably heard, are also on the decline: this past season only Survivor broke the top 25, and it's nowhere near the top 10.

Enough time has been spent analyzing the Idol juggernaut, so I'll spare you. (Plus, I haven't watched since Fantasia won. Love her. Did you hear she got rave reviews for playing Celie in The Color Purple on Broadway? Anyway.) But I'm amazed that a show starring C-list celebs (hi, Ian Ziering!) dancing competitively has claimed four of the top 10 spots. It can't all be that Paul-McCartney's-one-legged-ex-dancing thing.

Here are a couple looks at the past five years of TV ratings. In the first chart, you'll note that despite media hand-wringing about the TV audience declining, the rating of TV's No. 1 show hasn't declined over the past five years. The second shows how the composition of the top 25 shows has changed by genre.

  29/05/2007. Wired Magazine.