‘Miss Universe,’ searching for relevance
Having fallen on hard times, pageants are making changes
December 19, 2012
Beauty pageants certainly no longer capture the public attention like they once did, in the years before little girls grew up to be doctors, lawyers or secretary of state.
But give pageant organizers credit for at least trying to keep up with the times. Though their ratings are off and their rights cost a pittance, they’re adding new elements all the time to try to recapture the public’s interest.
So it is for “Miss Universe,” which airs tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC and Telemundo, hosted by two other members of the NBCUniversal/Comcast family, Bravo’s Andy Cohen and E!’s Giuliana Rancic.
Last year the pageant allowed viewers to pick one of the finalists through online voting, a way to draw in viewers who might otherwise not watched the show.
This year transgenders will be allowed to compete for the first time, thanks to a court challenge.
There has also been another change for “Universe” that will impact tonight’s ratings, but most likely not for the better.
Last year the pageant aired in September. Against minimal competition the pageant averaged a 1.6 adults 18-49 Nielsen rating on NBC.
Now it airs in December, and tonight it faces some tougher competition with the penultimate episode of Fox’s “The X Factor.”
A look at this week’s top TV draws
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19
|7 p.m.||ESPN||“NBA Basketball” (S)||A battle for New York between the Knicks and Nets.|
|8 p.m.||Fox||“The X Factor” (R)||The remaining contestants have their final performances of the season.|
|8 p.m.||CBS||“A Home for the Holidays with Rascal Flatts” (A)||The 14th annual adoption awareness event, this year hosted by Rascal Flatts.|
|8 p.m.||NBC, Telemundo||“Miss Universe” (A)||The 61st annual pageant, hosted by Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic.|
|9 p.m.||ESPN2||“College Basketball” (S)||Good nonconference game between North Carolina and Texas.|
|10 p.m.||NBC||“Chicago Fire” (D)||A handful of the firefighters are accused of stealing valuables.|
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20
|8 p.m.||NBC||“A White House Christmas” (A)||Memories from Michelle Obama and a group of former first ladies.|
|8 p.m.||Fox||“The X Factor” (R)||The season two winner is selected.|
|8 p.m.||ESPN||“College Football” (S)||The Poinsettia Bowl between BYU and San Diego State.|
|9 p.m.||ABC||“CMA Country Christmas” (A)||Holiday special hosted by Jennifer Nettles.|
|10 p.m.||MTV||“Jersey Shore” (R)||Series finale. This show is finally over. Get ready for “Buckwild.”|
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21
|7:30 p.m.||ESPN||“College Football” (S)||Yes, this actually exists — it’s the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl. Prestigious.|
|9 p.m.||ABC||“Back to the Beginning with Christiane Amanpour” (N)||The first half of a two-parter looking at the history of biblical stories.|
|9 p.m.||Fox||“Fringe” (D)||Nina Sharp makes an appearance in the fall finale.|
|9 p.m.||Travel Channel||“Ghost Adventures” (N)||A look at haunted bars and restaurants.|
|10 p.m.||E!||“Fashion Police” (N)||Tiffani Thiessen and Rob Kardashian both guest.|
|10 p.m.||Syfy||“Haven” (D)||Season finale. Audrey deals with her personal issues as she, Nathan and Duke prepare for the Bolt Gun Killer.|
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22
|6 p.m.||ESPN2||“College Basketball” (S)||An interesting early-season matchup between Illinois and Missouri.|
|8 p.m.||Fox||“Cops” (R)||Cases include an undercover prostitution sting in California.|
|8:20 p.m.||ESPN||“NFL Football” (S)||The high-flying Falcons visit the lowly Lions.|
|9 p.m.||NBC||“WWE Tribute to the Troops” (S)||The 10th annual event features the interesting mix of Kid Rock and The Muppets.|
|10 p.m.||Investigation Discovery||“Fatal Vows” (N)||Investigating a case of a murdered doctor.|
|10 p.m.||TBS||“Wedding Band” (C)||The group gets a job at a corporate event for the company that Eddie works for.|
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23
|8 p.m.||PBS||“Christmas at Luther: Tidings of Comfort and Joy” (A)||A traditional Christmas celebration from the college in Decorah, Iowa.|
|8:20 p.m.||NBC||“Sunday Night Football” (S)||The 49ers play on Sunday night for the second straight week, this time against division rival Seattle.|
|9 p.m.||Bravo||“Real Housewives of Atlanta” (R)||The Anguilla trip seems to be going well, but it wouldn’t be “Real Housewives” without some drama.|
|9:30 p.m.||ABC Family||“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (M)||Not the animated classic, but the live-action, way less classic Jim Carrey version.|
|10 p.m.||History||“Bamazon” (R)||An excavator finds himself in a dire situation.|
|11 p.m.||NBC Sports Network||“Boxing” (S)||It’s a Philadelphia fight night between heavyweights Bryant Jennings and Bowie Tupou.|
|A = awards show or special, C = comedy, D = drama, DD = daytime drama, G = game show, K = kids, M = movie, N = news/documentary, R = reality, S = sports, T = talk/variety show.|
Tags: abc, Andy Cohen, beauty pageants, DECEMBER, espn, Giuliana Rancic, miss america, miss universe, miss universe pageant, nbc, Real Housewives, telemundo, time, tv, tv this week, viewers, wednesday tv this week
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