The Miss USA Pageant Ratings Were Really Ugly

For the past few weeks, the Miss USA pageant went from being its run of the mill self to the center of all kinds of controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s announcement that he is in the running for the U.S. Presidency. The event’s telecast got shifted from NBC to Reelz, and the relocation was definitely visible in the dismal ratings, which didn’t even break 1 million viewers.

According to TV ByTheNumbers, The 2015 Miss USA Pageant was watched by just 925,000 people, or at least that’s how it averaged out over the course of its three-hour airing. Things don’t look much better under the hood, either, as the Baton Rouge-set competition only brought in a 0.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic. That’s pretty terrible for this pageant, and doesn’t compare at all to the 5.5 million people who watched it last year on NBC. There’s no telling how many would have been watching on NBC this year, but I’d bet all my sequins and jewels that it’d be over a million, and probably wouldn’t have been the lowest-rated of all-time like this one was.

But even though the drooping ratings marked a low in the number of people seeing a new Miss USA crowned – this year, it went to Miss Oklahoma Olivia Jordan – it also became one of the most-watched telecasts in Reelz’s relatively short history. In fact, the only other show to top Miss USA’s ratings on Reelz to date was the premiere episode for the miniseries The Kennedys, which was watched by 1.3 million people in 2011. Reelz is only available in 58% of homes with pay cable, so this was a huge success to have been able to swoop in and save the day by acquiring the telecast at the last minute.

A further 248,000 people (251,000 in the key demo) watched the second airing at 11 p.m. ET, which is still pretty good for Reelz, but still doesn’t make the total number feel like a victory for co-owner Donald Trump behind the scenes. Reelz is game to take hold of the Miss Universe telecast, should the network be in the running to take it. The present climate is such that most people are distancing themselves from Trump, so there’s no telling if anyone else will take a stab at airing it.

The pageant’s recent turmoil stems from some harsh words Trump had for Mexican immigrants, which caused Spanish-language network Univision and its presenters to drop the show a few weeks ago. Then other people starting causing a fuss, and NBC and its hosts backed out, with NBCUniversal and other companies cutting business ties with Trump.

Did you guys watch it this year? Guys? HELLO?

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.