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"Idol" Ratings Down, Sanjaya to Blame?

4/6/2007 1:37 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Viewership of "American Idol" has slipped compared to last season, and each episode has been watched by less people than the one before it. Is the lack of talent, embodied by Internet fav Sanjaya Malakar, the cause? Or maybe, as the show's EP would have us believe, it's the sun's fault.
American Idol
Nielsen stats show that the Tuesday performance shows are down about 10 percent compared to last season (from roughly 31 million viewers to 28). This past Wednesday night's results episode, which saw tongue-studded shrieker Gina Glocksen get the boot, was the least watched episode of the season, according to TV Week.

Idols on vacation: Click to launch galleryBut if you ask "Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe what is causing the problem, he'll blame daylight saving time, which started three weeks earlier this year. Ratings tend to dip every year whenever the time change kicks in. "Even if we lost 50 percent of our audience, we'd still be in the top three shows in the country," Lythgoe said at a press conference on Monday. It's good to be king.

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