“#FOX have [sic] cancelled the results show so I will have to change the format of #SYTYCD. At least we have another season at the end of MAY,” he said via Twitter, adding later, “I’m certainly not mad at FOX they have supported #SYTYCD FOR 9 seasons. With the help of [Fox president of alternative entertainment] Mike Darnell I think we have some great new ideas.”
The move doesn’t come as a surprise. The one-time ratings juggernaut slipped steadily in ratings during its most recent season, with most of last season averaging a bit over 5 million viewers. So You Think You Can Dance enthusiasts all have a laundry list of reasons for the decline. (The dancers are too [adjective]! [Judge] is awful! It’s been boring since that season where they eliminated [contestant] too early!) And while most grievances have some form of validity, the move to cancel the results show is likely a response to collective displeasure with an aging format.
In the 2010-11 season of American Idol, the show cut the horror of their results show to a half hour, which was still a half hour too long, only to return to an hour-long format before the season began. An entire hour of Ford commercials, poorly arranged group numbers, ear-grating banter, more Ryan Seacrest, and overall, a mess of unnecessary dramatics (“Dim the lights!”).
Word is that Lythgoe and Co. are working out a new format for SYTYCD that will accommodate their new schedule and format. (Details of which have yet to be made available, though, some have hinted there are more announcements to come.)
In any case, it would be wise for other competition shows to take note of a new So You Think You Can Dance format because audiences’ patience and tolerance for results show filler is waning. While the show’s most recent season debuted to 9.1 million viewers and a 3.2 adult demo rating, one results show hit an all-time summer low with a 1.6 rating.
One obvious alternative would be to just include eliminations in the first part of every performance episode. But one would think/hope producers will try to get more creative. Here’s my suggestion: Have the contestants perform in order, from the person with the most votes to the person with the least. When they get down to three contestants, have eliminations, leaving the two who scrape by to perform at the end. It may seem cruel to make two frazzled contestants to perform after being “saved,” but on the flip side, it’s also a reward for the contestants who did not finish at the bottom. And besides, nobody said reality competition is nice!
So, readers, what’s your take? Were you glad to hear the results show had been cut? Should other shows follow suit? And if they do, how should they work results into the new format?
Sound off below!