free_paris (free_paris) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Brit flub brings improved MTV ratings anyway

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As a comeback bid, Britney Spears’ performance on Sunday night’s “MTV Video Music Awards” was a disaster of the worst kind, drawing criticism for everything from her lousy lip-synching to clunky dance moves to that surprising belly paunch.

But as a ratings-grabber, MTV couldn’t have asked for anything more. Spears’ much-hyped appearance, her first TV singing performance in years, ended a four-year ratings skid for the long-fading VMAs.

The VMAs averaged 7.1 million total viewers, up 23 percent compared with last year’s near-record-low 5.8 million. It was the first time since 2002 that the show has seen a year-to-year gain.

Among MTV’s target audience of people 12-34, the show was up 23 percent over last year’s awards program, averaging a 6.4 rating. It was the highest-rated ad-supported cable telecast this year in that demographic.

Spears’ dreadful performance was all the buzz online following the show, with bloggers, messageboards and even a surprising chunk of the mainstream media dissecting the cultural significance of her latest public train wreck. That led to increased traffic to, which hit a record 2.66 million unique visitors Sunday.

The site has served more than 6 million streams of Sunday’s awards show through its on-demand feature.

Spears had been hoping to launch a comeback with the MTV appearance after spending the past three years bearing two children, marrying and divorcing one of her backup dancers, bouncing in and out of rehab, shaving her head and partying panty-less with Paris Hilton. Shortly before the VMAs, Spears released her first single in several years, and her album is supposed to be out soon.

But if Spears proved that her song-and-dance days may be done, MTV did make a comeback of sorts. The network hasn’t generated this much buzz since Spears’ last VMAs performance four years ago, when she smooched Madonna and set off a days-long media firestorm.

Since then, MTV’s awards shows have seemed increasingly out of touch as ratings dipped, perhaps partly because the network is no longer known for airing the videos that the music awards honors.


The VMAs were only beat in total viewers by an episode of "The Closer" and the Florida State-Clemson football game for the week. The VMAs also led the ratings among viewers 25-54 followed by an episode of "The Hills".

Edit: The title says "FLUB" not "FLAB" although in this case, the two seem interchangeable.
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