The last week of this season's American Idol finally gave Twentieth Television's On Air with Ryan Seacrest the ratings boost it had expected all season long from Fox's hit show, also hosted by Seacrest.
With booted contestants appearing on the show all week, and entertainment magazines Access Hollywood and Extra! interviewing Seacrest on his Hollywood & Highland set, the day-and-date syndie grew every day of last week. The best ratings came on Thursday when the appearances of winner Fantasia Barrino, runner-up Diana DeGarmo and judge Randy Jackson boosted the show's overnight ratings to an all-time single-day high of a 2.2.
The week started at a 1.5, growing to 1.6 on Tuesday and 1.8 on Wednesday as excitement for Idol's finale built. The boost helped 14 markets see all-time ratings highs in the time period and 47 markets improve on their May sweeps performance.
On Air's improving performance may quell rumors that Twentieth is considering pulling the plug on the show, which is expensive to produce.
To do that definitively, On Air would need to continue to show improvement over the summer.