“The Contender” is here, but according to the ratings most of you didn’t notice. NBC can only hope things improve when the show settles into its regular slot on Sundays at 8.
“The Contender,” from industry heavyweights Mark Burnett (“Survivor”), Jeffrey Katzenberg and Sylvester Stallone (“Rhinestone”), has had to deal with multiple delays and the suicide of one the participants before the first episode even aired. In that light, the show’s average viewership of roughly 8.4 million viewers across its 90-minute running time is certainly disappointing, but it is not the end.
NBC is hoping to pick up a larger audience for the show during its special episode this Thursday at 10.
CBS can took credit for the savage beating “The Contender” took. The network used new episodes of “Two and a Half Men” and “CSI: Miami” during the last week of February sweeps in order to take on “The Contender” with new episodes. The gamble paid off as the Charlie Sheen comedy drew 17.45 million and “CSI” grabbed 21.68 million.
FOX also declared war on “The Contender” as the network’s “’24’ beat the new show in the ratings Monday night.