/// Fans Check into Ramsay’s ‘Hotel Hell’

August 16, 2012  |  Media Week

Fox on Monday night established a high-water mark for the summer, as Gordon Ramsay’s latest exercise in bellowing at people in the service industry delivered the biggest 18-to-49 rating of an otherwise dismal season for the broadcast networks. Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Ramsay’s new show Hotel Hell scared up 5.12 million viewers and a 1.9 rating in the dollar demo, topping the summer’s 13 other premieres. No other summer opener has come as close to notching a 2.0 in the 18-to-49 demo. Before Hotel Hell , the strongest debut of the summer came courtesy of Fox’s celebrity dating show, The Choice , which bowed to a 1.8 in the demo on Thursday, June 7. Also within breathing distance was NBC's new competition series, Stars Earn Stripes , which bowed Aug. 13 opposite Hotel Hell in the 8 p.m. time slot. Much ballyhooed throughout the Olympics, Stripes averaged 5.24 million viewers and a 1.7 in the crucial 18-to-49 demo. This summer has been a particularly bleak time for broadcasters, as an overabundance of uninspired reality and competition series have left viewers scrambling for the remote. Through Tuesday, August 14, the average rating for a 2012 summer premiere is a modest 1.2. Four series have debuted to a sub-1.0 rating, including: CBS’s gnomically-titled dating show 3 (0.8); NBC’s scripted drama Saving Hope (0.7) and the CW’s reality bookends Breaking Pointe (0.3) and The Catalina (0.3). Thus far, two summer series have been cancelled outright. CBS yanked 3 after its second installment delivered a mere 1.65 million viewers and a 0.5 rating opposite NBC’s coverage of the London Olympics , while ABC disposed of its improv comedy effort, Trust Us With Your Life , with two episodes left in the hopper. The five installments that did air averaged 2.55 million viewers and a 0.9 in the demo. If each network has suffered its share of summer flops, ABC has risked more exposure than its rivals, introducing five new series since the steamy season began. In aggregate, the new projects have averaged 3.58 million viewers and a 1.0 in the demo. (By way of comparison, ABC averaged 8.4 million viewers and a 2.4 in the demo for the entire 2011-12 season.) Even familiar faces are losing favor.

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Fans Check into Ramsay’s ‘Hotel Hell’

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