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July 22, 2008

'High School Musical' is Monday's lowest-rated show

The second episode of ABC’s "High School Musical: Get In The Picture" reality show fell 18% in the ratings from its already dismal Sunday premiere to become the lowest-rated show Monday night among the major broadcast networks.

“Musical” (3.1 million viewers, 0.9 average adults 18 to 49 rating and a 3 share) also gave a weak lead-in for the premiere of ABC’s new game show “Wanna Bet” (3.1 million, 1.1/3), which came in last place in the hour. At 10 p.m., “The Mole” (3.3 million, 1.4/4) placed last in its hour. The result is  ABC's lowest-rated Monday night in three years.

Some in the industry been shocked at the out-of-the-gate performance of the unscripted show based on Disney’s powerhouse “Musical” brand. But about a month ago, an executive at another network detailed why “Musical” was not considered a sure-fire hit.

“People always try to sell us reality shows based on football -- because nothing scores higher ratings then football,” the executive said. “But people watch football because it’s actually football. A reality show about football -- like a reality show about ‘High School Musical’ -- it’s like you’re trying to sell the viewer with something that the show is not. Plus, it’s a kids brand on a network that targets adults 18 to 49. And, in this case, the show’s prize is weak, so the stakes are low.” (Note, ABC actually jacked up the reward to include a recording contract, in addition to appearing in a music video, a few weeks ago).

So CBS won the night with repeats (averaging 7.5 million, 2.2./7), tying in the demo with Fox, which also aired repeats (averaging 7.1 million, 2.2/7). NBC was third with “American Gladiators” (5.1 million, 1.8/6), “Nashville Star” (5.8 million, 1.6/5) and “Dateline” (5.1 million, 1.6/5), followed by ABC.

Keep in mind, however, this summer has been rough on all the broadcast networks, and ABC has still managed to enjoy more overall ratings growth than its competitors.


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