Some Teens Are Hot, Some Are Not, and Shark Week Still Has Teeth

By Lisa de Moraes
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Teenagers and cougars and sharks -- oh my!

Here's a look at the week's peaches and lemons:

WINNERS

"The Secret Life of the American Teenager." The preggers teen drama climbed to 3.6 million viewers last Tuesday. That's ABC Family's biggest number ever for an original scripted episode of any series -- and a bigger crowd than any episode of CW's "Gossip Girl" has ever copped.

Shark Week. After a rocky start with a new episode of "MythBusters" -- no match for last year's opening "Worst Shark Attack Ever" telecast -- the decades-old franchise wrapped up with Discovery Channel's best numbers in prime time in nearly 18 months.

Teen Choice Awards. When Disney Channel talent takes to Fox broadcast network: ratings magic. This Monday's Miley Cyrus-hosted Teen Choice Awards, featuring "High School Musical" and "Camp Rock" tweenthrobs -- and, yes, some of the "Gossip Girl"-ettes -- clocked 4.4 million viewers and the show's best teen stats since '04. Interestingly, the made-for-TV, teen-targeting trophy show logged about as many viewers age 50-plus as teen viewers. They were the ones watching Mariah Carey.

"Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal." You and I might see "Texas" and "cheerleader" and run for cover, but about 3 million people felt otherwise and opted to watch Lifetime's latest trashtastic project. That is considerably more people than the network averaged in the previous four weeks in that Saturday time slot.

"America's Got Talent." NBC's competition series copped 13.8 million viewers, becoming the only show across the week to break double digits.

"The Closer." TNT's Kyra Sedgwick Scenery Chewing Hour was the week's most watched ad-supported cable program, attracting about 7.4 million viewers Monday at 9 p.m., beating ABC's "Wanna Bet," NBC's "Nashville Star" and CW's "One Tree Hill" rerun, while virtually tying Fox's "House" repeat.

LOSERS

"Pam: Girl on the Loose." Poor Pamela Anderson. Her E! series unveiling logged only 1.1 million viewers, which is no match for E!'s other recent cougaresque reality series "Living Lohan" and its companion "Denise Richards: It's Complicated," each of which logged 1.5 million viewers a few weeks back. Even worse, immediately after Pam's debut, the second-season start of "Sunset Tan" bested her numbers, logging 1.3 million viewers.

"Mad Men." After the AMC series nailed more than 2 million viewers in its second-season debut, Episode 2 fumbled nearly 40 percent of that crowd. That said, it's still up compared with the first season.

"Baby Borrowers." NBC's faux-controversial reality series, in which teens who thought having a family would be, like, so totally cute got to borrow babies, teens and old people to give family life a test drive -- you had to be there -- faded away with only 5.4 million viewers still watching.

The week's 10 most watched programs, in order, were: NBC's "America's Got Talent"; ABC's "Wipeout"; CBS's "Two and a Half Men"; Fox's Wednesday "So You Think You Can Dance"; CBS's "Criminal Minds"; Fox's Tuesday "So You Think You Can Dance"; and CBS's "NCIS," "CSI: Miami," "60 Minutes" and "CSI."


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