10:49am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Miss USA Can't Crack 1 Million Viewers in Reelz Move
It may be a giant leap for cable net Reelz, but the Miss USA pageant took a few steps backward on Sunday night. Ratings for the telecast, originally set to air on NBC, predictably sank on the smaller platform.
The three-hour live telecast averaged just 925,000 viewers — down significantly from the 5.6 million who watched the previous year on NBC. But for Reelz, the number is nothing to complain about. The independent cable network is only available in 58.6 percent of America's TV-watching homes.
"If we double our audience from what a normal Sunday night would be, I'm happy," Reelz CEO Stan E. Hubbard told The Hollywood Reporter in the week leading up to the pageant. And double it did. The only program to outperform Miss USA in Reelz history was 2011 miniseries The Kennedys. The first part of that series brought 1.3 million viewers.
Reelz stepped in to air Miss USA when part-owner Donald Trump's controversial remarks about Mexico and Mexican immigrants prompted NBC and the original hosts and judges to pull out.
Hubbard also mentioned that Reelz is open to airing Miss Universe as well if they're afforded the opportunity.