There they are, once again: the Miss America ratings.
The verdict? It would seem that fewer Americans are interested in 20-second answers to current events questions, bathing suit competitions and ventriloquism, as performed by a young woman in sparkly jumpsuit.
Variety reports that the 2018 Miss America pageant, which was broadcast on ABC from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Sept. 10, drew 5.6 million viewers, compared with 6.2 million viewers in 2016. The Nielsen ratings were delayed because the company headquarters in Oldsmar, Florida had to be evacuated due to Hurricane Irma.
The Atlantic City-based Miss America Organization qualified its ratings announcement by saying that millions of people had lost power because of the hurricane, while millions more were watching the Giants and Cowboys in Sunday Night Football on NBC and the "highly promoted" Seth MacFarlane series "The Orville" on Fox. Glossing over the drop in ratings, the pageant organization pointed out that the Miss America broadcast "attracted ABC's best numbers in the 2-hour time period in 3 months."
During this year's broadcast, Miss America 2018, Cara Mund, a 23-year-old graduate of Brown University, became the first Miss North Dakota to win the pageant crown. She's also the first Ivy League graduate in at least 64 years to win the pageant.
The 2016 pageant had already been down 13.3 percent among viewers in the 18-to-49 demographic from approximately 7 million viewers in 2015.
The Atlantic City pageant may have been around for 96 years, but it's weathered some serious lows in the ratings over the years. In 2007, after Miss America had been jettisoned from ABC and only aired on cable, the show managed just 2.4 million viewers. Though the first pageant broadcast, in 1954, aired at a time when Americans only had a handful of networks to choose from, 27 million people tuned in to watch Lee Meriwether become Miss America.
As in years past, the pageant did, however, manage to draw a sizable audience on social media.
Miss America topped the Nielsen Social Content Ratings, drawing a combined total of 1.338 million social interactions over Twitter and Facebook, making it the No. 1 program in series and specials for the week that ended on Sept. 10.
The Giants-Cowboys game, which is tracked on a separate chart for sports events, claimed topped that chart with more than 7.9 million social interactions.
Miss America 2018, Cara Mund, takes victory dip in Atlantic
Amy Kuperinsky may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @AmyKup or on Facebook.