In 24 years of daily writing about TV and media, I do not think I have ever seen an audience loss quite like the one "Jon & Kate Plus 8" has been experiencing since the mother and father of eight children announced their divorce on TV.
On Monday, the TLC reality TV show had an audience of 1.714 million viewers. If you compare that to the 10.6 million who watched a one-hour special on June 22 when the show returned after the parents announced their breakup, that's an 84 percent plunge in viewership.
In fairness, the 10.6 was for a one-hour special that had been hyped mercilessly by the tabloids, so the comparison to a regular half-hour episode in September is not a perfect one -- if there is such a thing in ratings stories.
But consider this, which is more than fair: Since Aug. 3, the show has lost 62 percent of its audience -- from 4.2 million viewers for the half hour show on that night, to the 1.7 million on Monday.
And the skid has been steady: from 4.2 million on Aug. 3, to 3.4 million on Aug. 10, to a 3 million on Aug. 17, to the 1.714 million Monday.
The only comfort for TLC is that it does appear that the show might finally be hitting bottom. On Sept. 14, the audience was 1.789 million viewers, according to TVbythenumbers.com. So, the drop to 1.714 this week, is the smallest of the season.
Still, what a drop. As one of my colleagues who is more of a ratings expert than me, said Thursday, "Looking at those numbers, I would say Jon & Kate's 15 minutes might not yet be up, but they're at about 14 and 1/2 and counting."