The fact is TV shows get canceled (sometimes) because of bad ratings. The question is, does the same happen to TV actors?
We looked at the Nielsen numbers for a half-dozen Glee episodes that prominently featured Overstreet's Sam Evans: "Audition," the season premiere; "Duets," the one where he makes cute with Dianna Agron's Quinn; "Special Education," the one where he gets the spotlight at sectionals; "Silly Love Songs," the one where it starts to go downhill (i.e., Quinn takes a detour back to Cory Monteith's Finn); "Comeback," the one where he launches the Justin Bieber Experience; and "Rumours," the one where you learn he lives in a motel with a couple of urchins from Les Misérables.
"Audition" was Glee's second-most watched episode of the season, not counting Super Bowl night. "Rumours" was its second-least watched.
All together, the six Sam episodes averaged 11.1 million viewers.
Pretty good? Better than that, actually. The non-Sam-centric episodes (excluding the Super Bowl, natch) averaged 10.9 million viewers.
So, no, it doesn't seem likely Overstreet was considered TV-ratings poison.
Something for him and his agents to point out at their next meeting.
Elsewhere, here's a quick look at the the latest Nielsen winners:
• The Voice: If the competition show had been a regular-season entry, it would've finished ahead of CSI, The Big Bang Theory and loads more in the 2010-2011 standings. It ended its season-one run as the week's No. 1 show in the 18-49 demo.
• Nancy Grace: Yes, she was beside herself when Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder. But if it helps her sleep at night, her non-stop coverage of the trial helped Headline News to its best-ever month in June.
• Love in the Wild: The hybrid reality show (Survivor meets The Bachelor) got off to a Top 10 start in the demo, averaging 6.5 million viewers overall.
• Not True Blood: Is a transfusion needed? The HBO vampire show was down a ton from its premiere week.