Just like there can be TMI, maybe there's such a thing as TMRS — Too Much Ryan Seacrest.
The host hasn't had a great week. First, Seacrest got booed by a stadium full of fans at the NFL season opener last Thursday. He was there to promote his new game show, "Million Second Quiz."
That ill will followed the inauspicious premiere of his new game show. Debuting Monday night to so-so ratings, "Million Second Quiz" won its 8 p.m. timeslot, but it was a long way from "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?-sized success.
The series premiere got 6.5 million viewers and a 1.7 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 age group. Consider that to a mere rerun of "Shark Tank" on ABC that received a 1.5 in the same group. Or even the fact that "MSQ" only just matched the numbers of NBC's own "America Ninja" in the same timeslot last week.
While it's not quite an apples-to-apples comparison, NBC's hit singing show "The Voice" earned a 4.7 rating in that key demo for its fall premiere last year.
Of course, those kind of numbers are rare, especially for NBC. Still, that "MSQ" dropped half a million viewers from the start to the end isn't a good sign.
Viewers confused by "MSQ":
Also troubling: Seacrest didn't do any better than "Stars and Stripes" did for NBC last year in the same slot — and hosted by not-exactly-megastars Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark and former "Dancing With the Stars" personality Samantha Harris.
It's a far cry from the 30 million viewers who tuned in to see Regis Philbin preside over "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" in 2000.
Could it be that Seacrest's ubiquitous place in entertainment — as host of "American Idol," as a radio DJ, as a red carpet reporter, as a New Year's Eve maestro, and on and on — is igniting a backlash.
It will be interesting to gauge his reception when the new season of "American Idol" debuts this fall. The once-mighty reality competition has taken a huge nosedive in recent seasons. Last year, the show saw a 40 percent drop in viewership, and May's finale was the first time ever that fewer than 20 million people tuned in to find out who was named the winner.
With only Seacrest still in his original "Idol" role (Randy Jackson is returning, but only as a mentor), will this pillar upon which his empire was built hold strong?
Watch the full episode of "MSQ":
"The Million Second Quiz" will air for the next two weeks on NBC, with the two-hour finale slated for Thursday, Sept.19.
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