When it comes to reality competitions, “American Idol” is no longer alone at the top of the television ratings charts.
Last week’s return of “Dancing with the Stars” gave ABC an enormous surge in the ratings. Finishing second behind “American Idol,” the boogie fest grabbed over 25 million viewers for its Monday show and the Tuesday versus “Idol” episode still managed 17 million viewers. Many a show has tried to go against the monster of “American Idol” and none has ever been able to make a dent. “Lost,” right before it lost its cool quotient, was moved to another night to get out of the way of “American Idol.” Curiosity was rampant in television circles as the dancing phenomenon was set to go head-to-head with the Fox mainstay that has been America’s most popular program for years. While no one can touch “Idol’s” 27.3 million viewers, “Dancing with the Stars” pulling in their 17 million is an amazing feat opposite the singing competition is impressive. Evidence of “Idol’s” effect on everything else on television can be seen in “Dancing with the Stars” Monday broadcast. That episode garnered 26 million viewers without the “Idol” competition. The fact that any show is pulling in “American Idol” type numbers has got to be a source of pride over at the alphabet network. The trend has been that Idol still grabs its 25-plus million and no one else tunes in to anything else, clearly “Dancing” has broken that spell. There were several bright spots actually for the night outside “American Idol.” Britney Spears appearance on “how I Met Your Mother” brought the show its highest ratings — 10.6 million viewers.