Was the Jonas Brothers' new TV show a one-week wonder? Is Fox demanding an American Idol recount? And what was the final Nielsen verdict on Dollhouse?
The answers—and more questions—in this week's ratings quiz:
1. Have Joe, Nick and Kevin flopped again? No, and, by the way, their concert movie didn't really flop, either. But the brothers are bad at playing the expectations game. A week after their Disney Channel sitcom, JONAS, debuted to solid numbers, the show lost nearly half its audience (from 4 million viewers to 2.2 million, per the latest Nielsen weekly rankings), and fell from cable's Top 15 to cable's Top 100-something, which, in the grand scheme of things, is still a very good showing—unless you're trying to live up to the media's expectations for a world-famous act.
2. What happened to JONAS? iCarly, it would seem.
Nick's new iCarly hour-long special, iDate a Bad Boy, scored a cable-best 6.5 million viewers. Not only did the show air opposite JONAS, 8-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, it won, dominated and otherwise stole Jonas' target tween audience.
3. What were the week's other cable hits, besides iCarly? There sorta weren't any. A 9 p.m., Saturday iCarly was the No. 2 comedy or drama series (4.6 million). A Sunday repeat of iDate a Bad Boy was No. 3 (4.1 million). A 9:30 p.m., Saturday iCarly was No. 4 (3.8 million), if you don't count a couple of NCIS reruns in between. Top non-iCarly prime-time performers included: In Plain Sight (3.6 million), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (3.1 million), Deadliest Catch (3 million) and I Love Money 2 (2.8 million)
4. Does Fox have a beef with Nielsen over Idol's ratings? No, says Fox, denying an assertion by an exec at Idol-maker 19 Entertainment's corporate parent that the network and Nielsen were going to meet about the show's "oxymoronic" numbers—i.e., increased voting, decreased viewership. Per Fox, no such meeting was, or is, scheduled.
5. How bad are Idol's numbers anyway? Not bad at all. So far, the overall audience for Tuesday's Idol is down a fairly standard 10 percent from last season. Wedesday's Idol is off only 4 percent. Last week, Wednesday Idol scraped by as TV's No. 1 show (23.6 million). Tuesday Idol was No. 2 (23.4 million), followed by Monday's Dancing With the Stars (20.3 million), NCIS (16.7 million), The Mentalist (16.68 million), Grey's Anatomy (15.5 million), CSI (14.9 million), Tuesday's DWTS (14.6 million), Two and a Half Men (14.2 million) and Criminal Minds (14.1 million).
6. How bad were the numbers for Dollhouse's season finale? Bad is so subjective. Now, little, on the other hand...Among broadcast network shows, the Joss Whedon creation finished 101st, with 2.7 million viewers—or, 1 million fewer than the low-rated series' season average. Even after a week's worth of DVR playback is factored in, the DVR favorite has remained Fox's least-watched drama series.
7. How, um, little is Sit Down, Shut Up looking in its new time slot? Last weekend's episode averaged only 1.5 million viewers, fewer than any show on the big four networks.
8. How can Howie Mandel help Chuck? By having Deal or No Deal do exactly what it's doing in Chuck's old time slot: not much. Last week, the game show drew 4.4 million at 8 p.m., Monday; last night, it scored an estimated 4.2 million. Bubble show Chuck averaged 6.5 million.