Will March Madness add to ‘American Idol’s’ steady ratings drop?

Is Nicki Minaj why ‘American Idol’s’ ratings are in the tank?
Photo: ABC/American Idol

WASHINGTONMarch 21, 2013 —Since “American Idol” is currently in its least popular season since hitting the airwaves back in 2002, the start of the NCAA playoffs on rival CBS cannot come at a worse time for the ailing talent show.

Last Thursday night, “American Idol” was the fourth most watched show of the night. For a program that used to live comfortably at the top of the Nielsen ratings, this has to be a worrisome trend, especially for the show’s producers.


SEE RELATED: American Idol falls in ratings; Duck Dynasty ratings keep climbing


“Idol’s” Thursday night competition is the powerhouse CBS lineup of “The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Person of Interest” and “Elementary.” The only one of these shows that didn’t beat “Idol” in the ratings was “Elementary,” and even that show was a scant 14 thousand viewers from replacing “Idol” at number four for the night.

Since CBS has replaced its tried-and-true winning lineup tonight with the equally formidable NCAA tournament, expect “American Idol” to continue a waterfall decline in the ratings. Whether the blame for this belongs to the controversial new judge Nicki Minaj or not, someone at FOX better get busy fixing what’s wrong with their most popular show or it’s going to be curtains for sure—and we’re not using that expression in a positive way.

Meanwhile the interest in the NCAA tournament must be reaching new levels because my Internet connection is so slow it reminds me of the good ole dial-up days, back when your big, clunky modem made all those weird scratching and squealing noises we now only hear on ancient fax machines.

Trying to spend a few moments on Google doing research for this column reveals that March Madness is not only likely to slow down the Internet to a crawl for many users, but American productivity as well, as hoops fanatics sneak time-outs during the workday to track their favorite teams in the tourney as well as their positions in the office tournament pool.


SEE RELATED: Fire Nicki Minaj for American Idol’s low ratings


One third of people in a recent poll admitted they will spend as much as three hours a day watching the games while at work. Nearly three million people will watch at work, costing employers $134 million dollars in lost wages.

On the other hand, no one is getting any raises these days anyway, on top of taking that payroll tax hit on January 1. Besides, they need to stand in line because their bosses have to get their own bonus checks back up to snuff first before even thinking of giving the peasants maybe a two cent per hour raise. Next year. So maybe watching NCAA basketball on company time is one way to even the score. Moving right along…

Since my connection is so dicey today, all I can say is “let the games begin,” and hope I can maintain a connection long enough to finish this article. Enjoy.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EST:

8 p.m.

ABC: Wife Swap: (New) A Las Vegas mother who loves to party switches places with a religious mother of six who lives on a rustic farm.

CBS: NCAA Basketball Tournament: (Live) South Dakota State vs. Michigan followd by Akron vs. Virginia Commonwealth.

FOX: American Idol: (New) One finalist is eliminated in a results episode.

NBC: Community: (New) Greendale recruits a rich community college “whale,” who has the potential to be enrolled and spending cash on campus for over a decade.

CW: The Vampire Diaries: (New) Realizing that Elena needs some time away from Mystic Falls, Damon takes her to New York City, where he lived and partied hard in the 1970s. When Rebekah also shows up in New York, she’s impressed with Elena’s secret agenda.

8:30 p.m.

NBC: 1600 Penn: (New) Emily tries to help Skip graduate college; Henry Winkler guest stars.

9 p.m.

ABC: Grey’s Anatomy: (New) More positive changes are made by the hospital’s new management; Meredith worries about her unborn baby; Alex decides to give Jo’s boyfriend a run for his money.

FOX: Glee: (New) The students perform songs that they are usually too embarrassed to admit they love.

NBC: The Office: (Repeat) Pam tries to land a job in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Dwight goes on a quest to clean his aging aunt.

CW: Beauty and the Beast: (New) After taking their relationship to a new level, Cat (Kristin Kreuk) and Vincent (Jay Ryan) are forced to deal with reality when someone appears to be the framing the vigilante. Evan (Max Brown) finds proof that Cat knows more than she is letting on about the beast.

9:30 p.m.

NBC: 1600 Penn: (New) Emily tries to help Skip graduate college; Henry Winkler guest stars.

10 p.m.

ABC: Scandal: (New) Fitz’s pick for Supreme Court Justice is caught in an affair with Olivia’s new high-powered client (Lisa Edelstein); Olivia and Jake continue to flirt.

NBC: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: (Repeat) An FBI agent digs up one of the squad’s cold cases, which she believes is linked to other cases across the nation. However, Benson and Amaro aren’t confident that she has the right suspect.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Swamp People at 9 p.m. on History Channel

Project Runway at 9 p.m. on LIFE

Auction Kings at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on DSC

The First 48 at 9 and 10 p.m. on A&E

Comic Book Men at 10 p.m. on AMC

North Woods Law at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet

Archer at 10 p.m. on FX

Big Rig Bounty Hunters at 10 p.m. on History Channel

What Not to Wear at 10 p.m. on TLC

Property Wars at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on DSC

House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

The Long Kiss Goodnight on CINEMAX

Bringing Down the House on ENC

A Guide to Organizing Your Saints at 10 p.m. on FLIX

The Karate Kid on FMC

Apocalypse Now on IFC

Compulsion on TCM

Standing in the Shadow of Motown on TMC

9 p.m.

Contagion on MOMAX

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on HBO

Happy Gilmore at 9 p.m. on ABCFAM

Later tonight:

Sexy Baby at 9:30 p.m. on SHO

Reality Bites at 9:40 p.m. on FLIX

Contraband at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

Tower Heist at 10 p.m. on HBO

Nurse Betty at 10 p.m. on SUND

Down to the Sea in Ships on TCM

I will Follow on TMC


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.

 

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