Dancing with the Stars 2012 Ratings - Can Show Turn the Tide of Slipping Numbers?
Even as "Dancing With the Stars" sambas into its most exciting weeks of competition, you have to know the show's producers are wondering about what magic they're going to have to conjure up next season to keep ratings for the 15-season-old program from slipping further.
Despite such attention-getters as Paula Abdul's guest judge stint, Justin Bieber and other star appearances, and drama including Melissa Rycroft's true grit performance after suffering a herniated disc, the show is not seeing numbers as good as in seasons past.
Fans have not been particularly pleased with the current All-Stars competition, because there are none of the compelling transformation stories that have made past seasons special.
No ugly ducklings, just swans.
Then there's the fact that many of the stars on "Dancing With the Stars" aren't immediately recognizable names as far as the general public is concerned.
When a personality's stardom has to be explained, that's a bad sign. The year before his death, one-time teen idol Davy Jones told us that he would have gladly done "DWTS" a few years earlier, but that he felt the show wasn't drawing as high a level of celebrity participants as it had. Other stars no doubt feel the same way.
"What's great about it is that people can watch it with their families -- with their children or grandchildren. That, to me, is the biggest compliment," says "DWTS" pro and family man Tony Dovolani.
We agree completely! Unfortunately, the fact the show skews older isn't helping its cause.
How much older?
In Season 14, for example, the show averaged 16.8 million viewers watching live and same day. Of those, 10.1 million were in the 55+ demo, according to Nielsen figures. That's a whopping 13.5 percent audience share of the 55-and-up age range.
This year, "DWTS" has been averaging a total viewership around 13 million -- which is still, to put it in perspective, a viewership other shows can only dream about. For example, the recently-canceled "Made in Jersey" was getting total viewership numbers around six and seven million. What can they do to turn the tide? Can it be turned? Ideas?
TOTALLY TACKY: It's that time of year again, when we ask readers to select the entertainment celebrities most deserving of our annual Beck/Smith Hollywood Tacky Taste Awards. This year marks the 35th such cavalcade of the crass, the churlish and the contemptible, and obviously, you will have no shortage of candidates for Tackiest Celebrity in 2012.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, with his memoir that capitalized on his own tacky and embarrassing behavior, is bound to get some attention. So is Kristen Stewart for cheating on Robert Pattinson -- and Chris Brown for cheating on Rihanna, right on the heels of the unwise rekindling of their rocky romance. It was a year when the showing of more skin than intended made for the strangest of celebrity groupings: the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and...Hulk Hogan? The sad spectacle of Lance Armstrong's fall from hero status may elicit some Tacky votes. And no doubt various tacky types at the forefront of politics this election year will, too. We're sure that, as always, readers will remember many more.
Tell us who's your choice for Tackiest and (SET ITAL) why (END ITAL) -- by writing to email@example.com, or by visiting www.becksmithhollywood.com and leaving your comments there. The winners, if you can call them that, will be announced Thanksgiving week.
SPEAKING OF POLITICS: "It's hard to find the funny sometimes. You get so upset," admits political humorist Will Durst, who's been keeping crowds laughing throughout the run-up to next month's election. "You just have to plumb deeper."
Durst, whose writings include his "Elect to Laugh! A Hilarious, Common Sense Guide to American Politics" book, his syndicated column, and his pieces on Huffington Post and elsewhere, takes jabs at Republicans and Democrats -- and performs before audiences of both persuasions. "I do theater shows and corporates, and they're two different crowds, but they laugh at both sides," he tells us. He's received his share of angry emails. However, he notes, "The only real trouble I've had is with the true believers -- Orange County and Berkeley."
Durst cites an anecdote that he used in his book, recalling an occasion when Abraham Lincoln told a joke -- and a woman approached him to complain. "Madam," he reportedly said, "we all laugh in order not to cry."
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