American Idol Is Tops Online Too

Of 100 broadcast network television show website contestants selected by Hitwise, American Idol is tops with a share of nearly 33 percent of U.S. visits for the week ending April 28. NBC’s Deal Or No Deal came in a distant second with a little over 12 percent, and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars with 9 percent — proving that Americans love trashy game shows both online and off.

American Idol Homepage

But a number of the show sites that ranked in the top 10 don’t even register as top shows in the weekly Nielsen ratings.

Of course, American Idol also topped off the ratings for the week ending April 29, pulling in over 53 million viewers for its Tuesday and Wednesday airings combined. One feature that could be driving traffic is the show’s “MyIDOL” feature, which is essentially an Idol-themed social network.

Show Hitwise Rank Ratings Rank
American Idol on FOX 1st 1st
Dancing with the Stars 3rd 5th
Grey’s Anatomy 4th 3rd
Lost 8th 19th
Survivor: Fiji 9th 14th

Deal or No Deal must be doing something right online that it’s not doing offline, and so are shows like America’s Most Wanted and “Pussycat Dolls Presents.” For Deal or No Deal, the online game is likely a big draw. Most Wanted has a pretty rich site for true-crime junkies and amateur sleuths. And the appeal of Dolls is, ahem, nearly naked.

The top scripted dramas on the Hitwise list were ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and NBC’s Heroes, in fourth and fifth place, respectively. But seven of the 10 shows are largely unscripted programs, including all of the shows that made the Hitwise list but didn’t make the top 20 in the ratings.

All of the sites feature video clips from the shows, interactive features such as games and discussion boards, as well as web-exclusive content — in American Idol‘s case, video interviews with the remaining contestants feature prominently at the top of the page.