Sure the Olympics are a glitzy pageant of high-stakes athletic perfection beamed from half-way around the globe. But TV viewers can get bored of just about anything, and some are clearly feeling Summer Games fatigue. Thursday night, NBC dipped to its lowest viewership since the start of the Games, with “only” 22.4 million viewers tuning in, according to the preliminary ratings.
Over on CBS, some viewers opted to watch housemates compete in a trivia competition and vote each other out on Big Brother (6.2 million, 2.1) rather than see Olympians going for the gold.
The Olympics dip is to be expected now that high-interest sports like swimming, gymnastics and women’s beach volleyball have largely been replaced by track and field and diving. Still, the London Olympics have averaged 12 percent higher overall than the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. NBC hopes for a viewership spike during the Closing Ceremonies on Sunday evening, where it will preview its new sitcom Animal Practice.