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Interesting bit of news from Nielsen's annual Top Ten list, released Tuesday morning: "Dancing With the Stars" edged out "American Idol" as TV's most viewed unscripted show last season. "NCIS" remained TV's top draw overall.
It's not earth-shattering news by any means -- "Idol," consistently TV's most watched for a decade, has been in an inexorable slide for years now, but "Idol" has usually been the superior in terms of numbers; in 2012, for example, "Idol's" Wednesday show edged out "DWTS" (15.1 million viewers to "DWTS's" 15.0 million.)
But ... Nielsen's numbers show a drop of about 1 million each for both shows.
Here's the list and you'll be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that football remains preeminent.
1. NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (NBC) 7.4 ... 21,734,000
2. SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK (NBC) 5.3 ... 15,708,000
3. THE OT (FOX) 5.0 ... 14,753,000
4. NCIS (CBS) 5.0 ... 14,692,000
5. DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC) 4.7 ... 13,862,000
6. NFL REGULAR SEASON (ESPN) 4.6 ... 13,446,000
7. AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY (FOX) 4.6 ... 13,384,000
8. BIG BANG THEORY (CBS) 4.5 ... 13,217,000
9. AMERICAN IDOL-THURSDAY (FOX) 4.5 ... 13,136,000
10. DANCING WITH THE STARS RESULTS (ABC) 4.5 ... 12,890,000
Data from 12/31/2012 - 12/08/2013. Regularly scheduled English and Spanish-language programs on Broadcast and Cable. Primetime. Persons 2+ estimates include live and same-day timeshifted viewing. Excludes breakouts, specials, programs less than 5 minutes in duration and programs with less than 4 telecasts. Read as: NBC Sunday Night Football averaged 21.7 million viewers who watched live or via timeshifted viewing within the same day. Source: Nielsen
"Dancing with the Stars" crowned a season 17 winner Tuesday night, and in truth, the winner is a "he" as much a "she." "He" is one of the best professional dancers in the world and a multiple winner on this show "He" is also the biggest star on "DWTS" -- easily, ironically, a larger presence than just about any other "star" season...Read more »
Not that this is a stunt -- because it's not, and really, how can anyone be so cynical to think that it is -- because I mean, really, Cher knows a lot about the tango, Argentine tango, contemporary, Viennese waltz, jazz, disco, and foxtrot -- Cher knows a lot about everything...
But I'm getting ahead of myself: Cher will co-judge next week's "Dancing with the Stars."
Announced on the show Monday night, and oh, what a coincidence, a news release is here, too:
The iconic Oscar®, Grammy® and Emmy® Award winning singer and actress will open the show with a dazzling and spectacular performance of her hit song “Believe” before joining judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba to give critiques and scores on each celebrity routine. The seven remaining couples will compete in two rounds of dance. In the first round, each couple will take on a dance style they have not previously performed including the Tango, Argentine Tango, Contemporary, Viennese Waltz, Jazz, Disco, and Foxtrot.
I've always said Cher is "iconic." Why did it take "DWTS" so long to call her that, too?
Needless to say, this is a must-watcher.
In what's believed to be a show first, "Dancing With the Stars" Monday night tossed out the voting results from last week's edition. No one was therefore eliminated, which means all eight remaining couples live to dance another week.
Last week's edition, the fifth, mixed up on-screen numbers -- those 800 and text numbers that appear after the judges' votes are posted. For example, viewers on the East Coast saw Elizabeth Berkley's team number in place of Bill Engvall's, or Corbin Bleu's team number in place of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's. The possibility for vote distortion was reasonably high -- after all, Berkley is one of this season's leaders, while Engvall was trailing all contestants in judge totals this past Monday. In fact, it appeared either Engvall or Jack Osbourne was about to be eliminated when host Tom Bergeron stepped in to announce the show's decision.
Judges' scores and viewer votes from Monday's show will be combined with next week's totals.
TV icon Valerie Harper, who announced in March she had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, became the third contestant eliminated on the 17th season of "Dancing With the Stars."
"It has been absolutely wonderful," Harper, 74, said on air Monday night after being told she and dance partner Tristan MacManus were being cut. "Completely unique -- like nothing else in the world that you would ever do. And it was an opportunity for me to carry a message to folks, not just with cancer, but with whatever challenge . . . carry on, carry on."
Afterward, Harper -- who won four Emmy Awards for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on the classic TV comedy "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" -- told Entertainment Weekly: "I just feel I'm a human being that's very lucky to be with these people. The stature of them as giving, funny, supportive, light, intense, committed to doing a good job, all those great qualities -- it's so palpable in these kids. I just love 'em all."
Last month, Harper revealed that treatment for her leptomeningeal carcinomatosis -- a rare form of cancer in which malignant cells invade the meninges, the three fluid-filled membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord -- was going well and she might be close to remission.
(Newsday.com app readers please view at newsday.com/tvzone)
Here's a good clip from Monday night:
Welcome to movies, miniseries and -- what the heck -- let's do reality and variety series too, in today's Emmys' picks. The minis category is always a good one, thanks to HBO. And as you will notice below, HBO will most assuredly will win something this Sunday.
LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE: Michael Douglas, "Behind The Candelabra," HBO; Matt Damon, "Behind The Candelabra,"...Read more »
Here's what you live for, or not: The cast of the 17th, and truncated one-night-per-week, season of "Dancing with the Stars," back Sept. 16, and just for the biggest surprise here right off the bat: Bill Nye the Science Guy??! But of course the biggest name here is Valerie Harper's ...
Here's your list with predictions ...
Snooki: Actually kind of like her chances here...Read more »