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National Bingo Night: Web Visitors Save ABC Game Show

National Bingo NightDespite low ratings, ABC has decided to order additional episodes of its National Bingo Night game show. It seems the network is having some doubts about the Nielson numbers.

The game show debuted on Friday, May 18th and attracted just 6.1 million viewers. The following week’s airing dropped to 5.7 million and, by the end of the series’ six week try-out, viewership had fallen to only 3.5 million.

With a ratings decline like this, the network would normally drop a series like National Bingo Night and it would never be heard from again. But in this case, the online component caught the network’s attention and they decided that the reported ratings weren’t accurate.

The game show gave viewers an opportunity to download their own Bingo Night cards on and play along. Home viewers won more that $550,000 through the show’s six week run. Over three million bingo cards were downloaded before the series debuted and that number grew 10% each week. By the end, over 22 million bingo cards had been downloaded. This resulted in doubling the website’s usual traffic, making it the top TV entertainment site for the month of May. This increase spelled additional profit for the network via online advertising.

ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson said, “It is fair to say this show was saved by the fact that, while its ratings numbers weren’t as impressive, that was totally contradicted by everything else we saw online.” He continued, “Nielsen claimed the numbers were what they were, but there was definitely a disconnect. We have concrete online numbers that don’t lie.”

Hosted by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s Ed Sanders, National Bingo Night is now set to return for five consecutive airings for the week of December 17th. If its audience continues to grow, it’s a safe bet that it will return a second time.

Could this be the start of a new trend in which networks take online interest into account. Could it save another show? Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

nicky February 7, 2010 at 12:17 am

i like the hosting done by abhisekh bingo beauty rashmi nigam &1 &only Ali asgar i found this game just as chance &probability&its on their luck that who wins and who doesn’t
if the no is 45 & the person who plays against us will get confuse but in the same way if the no is 6 we find it easy “coz the no in the balls rf til75 . So i want this game to be hit.THANK YOU


Michael April 13, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Unfortunatley, Bingo did not return at all last year especially during the summer. ABC replaced it with the obstacle course game Wipeout. Now the show has taken a new name and went to GSN with host Richard Karn. Hopefully, it gets the boot from GSN and returns to ABC soon.


Landon December 9, 2007 at 4:41 pm

It seems that NBN will not return. Instead “Duel” is scheduled to air that week. Will Bingo ever return?


velvet350 October 2, 2007 at 3:50 pm

I am so happy more Bingo game shows are coming on tv. My sister and I loved playing this game. It was quality time my sister and I shared and we are in our 50’s. It’s a great way to get families together, young and old. I think many good shows have gotten the axe because of the Neilson Ratings. Maybe a new way of finding out what American families want is just a click away.


Richard July 27, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Nielson ratings, not accurate?! Who’da thunk it?!


Linda Ager July 20, 2007 at 7:09 pm

With not much for many of the generation of all ages to do, to stay out of trouble and off the roads, and no good TV shows on, this was a g. I had friends play the game hesitantly and they had a blast. We didn’t think we could stay awake the whole time, but it was so much fun. Please bring it back. It is a legal way to play a fun game. Thank You. Linda Ager


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