How did a murderous scandal treat Megan Wants a Millionaire? How did Octomom get so lucky in her battle with Jon & Kate? How did Bravo stop flipping out about Project Runway?
The answers—and more questions—in the latest TV ratings quiz:
1. So, did prurient interest in Ryan Jenkins goose his now-canceled VH1 reality show? We'll never know. The last episode of Megan Wants a Millionaire, a rerun, aired last Tuesday, just as news was breaking that the contestant was wanted in connection with the murder of his model wife, Jasmine Fiore. What's interesting is that even before the scandal, Megan's numbers were down from the previous week, per the latest Nielsen rankings. Overall, the show was a hit for VH1. Its last new episode scored nearly 1 million viewers, well above the network's prime-time average.
2. Given the Jenkins case, is there any proof we're tiring of voyeuristic reality shows? Not unless there's some kind of groupthink reverse psychology going on. Big Brother, the mother of all voyeruristic reality shows, is drawing a bigger audience this summer than last, CBS said.
3. What break did Nadya Suleman catch? By the time her special aired on Fox, Jon & Kate Plus 8 was in freefall mode on TLC. Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage scored 4.2 million viewers versus Jon & Kate's 3 million last week. Jon & Kate still remains a hit for TLC. Octomom still got outdrawn on free TV by the likes of Shaquille O'Neal, a rerun of Wipeout and that shark show nobody's talking about.
4. Is Bravo over losing Project Runway? Oh, sure, who needs cable's most-watched reality show of the week? Seriously, though, Bravo did get a lift from Flipping Out, which boasted its highest-rated season premiere. (And, um, still came about 3 million viewers short of Project Runway.)
5. What does a broken record sound like? This: HBO's True Blood hit another new season high, topping 5 million viewers on Sunday night.
6. Who on Earth wants to spend an hour inside crazy-messy homes? The 2.5 million who made A&E's new Hoarders a cable hit.
7. What were the most-watched cable shows that didn't leave you wanting to take a shower—and take out the garbage? TNT's The Closer was the overall No. 1, with 7.3 million viewers. USA's Royal Pains (5.3 million) and Monk (5.2 million) were right up there. Disney's The Suite Life on Deck (4.3 million) was the top half-hour comedy. Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva (2.9 million) hit a season high, and got renewed.
8. What's the most amazing thing about the High School Musical franchise's continued drawing power? Disney's top-rated reruns of the first two movies aired before that shirtless Zac Efron shot saved summer.
9. Will NBC ever learn? No. After seeing its I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! ratings flattened by a certain married couple who shall remain nameless, the network invited the duo's "singing" half to perform on the Miss Universe Pageant. Whereupon viewership fell nearly 1 million viewers from last year.
10. Why does ABC stand to lose the most from "death panels?" Because without our nation's elders, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire wouldn't nearly be the summer hit it is. Overall, the Tuesday edition of NBC's America's Got Talent was TV's most-watched show, with 11.9 million viewers. Fox's Hell's Kitchen was the anti-Millionaire in that it was the No. 1 show among young adults.