December 14, 2011 1:53pm PT by Michael O'Connell
TLC's 'All-American Muslim': Controversy Does Not Equal Ratings
It would appear members of the conservative Florida Family Association are among the few actually paying attention to TLC's All-American Muslim.
The reality series about Muslim families living in suburban Detroit, which lost advertising from Lowe's and other brands after FAA condemned it as propaganda, is languishing in the ratings.
PHOTOS: 10 of TV's Biggest Television Show Controversies
Only five episodes into its first season, the series ranked 78th among Sunday's cable broadcasts for Dec. 11. With only 908,000 viewers and a 0.3 rating among adults 18-49, it's being easily outperformed by series like History's American Pickers, Discovery's Moonshiners and its latest lead-in, Little People Big World: Holiday Surprise.
This recent episode, which aired two days after news broke of Lowe's controversial departure as advertiser, continued a downward trend in numbers, not benefiting at all from the added attention. It dropped from a .4 rating in the key demo from the previous week, and fell below the 1-million mark for the first time.
REVIEW: 'All-American Muslim'
All-American Muslim did not get off to a terrible start, either. Boosted by a lead-in from the successful Sister Wives, its Nov. 13 premiere earned a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 1.74 million viewers. It dropped 55 percent in its second outing to a 0.5 rating and 1.17 million viewers and continued a steady decline from there.
So will there be no silver lining to all of the drama?
The real test for how the series could get a boost from the attention will come with the Dec. 18 broadcast. Though the Lowe's story broke Dec. 9, it didn't gain momentum until this week, when celebrities such as Russell Simmons and Mia Farrow publicly threw their support behind the show.
And it should not be forgotten how well scandal has treated TLC in the past. Nearly 10 million tuned in to watch Jon and Kate Gosselin's marriage unravel on the 2009 premiere of Jon & Kate Plus 8, doubling its previous ratings high after a few weeks of tabloid attention.