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American Idol 2011: DWTS Tackles Ratings Giant

Posted by on May 23, 2011 at 7:47 PM EST

american idol dwtsTomorrow night Dancing With The Stars 2011 is up against American Idol and Glee.

Is it a power play by American Idol or just an odd scheduling change that makes it seem that way that conveniently puts American Idol’s live performance finale up against the Dancing with the Stars finale results show tomorrow night? Since both will be airing tomorrow night at the same time, viewers will have to choose whether they want to watch Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina face off on the stage, or if they want to watch the drawn out DWTS results show to find out who wins the mirror ball trophy.

American Idol and Dancing with the Stars are the two biggest shows on TV and this season they have found an easy way to co-exist. DWTS had been on Monday and Tuesday nights while American Idol took Wednesdays and Thursdays. Both regularly dominated their time slots, but for some reason this week American Idol has made a change.

There could be a few reasons for this. First, Tuesday night also features the season finale of Glee on Fox. Perhaps the network wanted to use American Idol to give Glee as big of a lead in as possible. Another possibility is that Thursday night in Idol’s old spot the premier of So You Think You Can Dance airs. Maybe they just wanted to make room for that show at what will likely be its new time slot.

While there may be some truth to that, I think American Idol also wanted to flex its muscle. It will be going head-to-head with the first hour of a two hour DWTS results show. The results shows always get lower ratings and a lot of people will be willing to miss the first hour so long as they get to see who wins. This could give American Idol a big boost and allow them to dominate that time slot during their finale.

It is a little bit of a risk through. If they end up losing audience and don’t do as well as they have in past weeks in their normal time slot then they will have to deal with rumors during the entire off-season about whether or not Idol is losing its popularity.  Still, I have a feeling it will mostly be unchanged and much of this drama is for naught. People will flip back and forth between American Idol and the Dancing With The Stars results show then after the hour-long Idol is over they will either stay on DWTS or move on to whatever else. Glee fans who watch DWTS likely already DVR the results show or Glee anyway so I don’t see that changing up much.

I see this mostly as a power play by FOX so that they can leave the season saying in the end they beat DWTS head-to-head. If they really wanted a fair fight they would air American Idol tonight against the live dancing show, but that’s not happening any time soon.

You can see the live DWTS dancing finale tonight starting at 8PM on ABC. Tomorrow night the American Idol final performance show airs at 8PM on Fox and the Dancing With The Stars results show and trophy awards ceremony starts at 8PM and goes to 10PM on ABC.



(1) Reader Comment

  1. Is this Jeff Kane an idiot? The reason American Idol moved is that Sweeps ends on Wednesday. Fox wants both of Idol’s nights to be counted in the Sweeps ratings. Duh!!!

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