"Big Bang Theory" Beats Up on "American Idol"

Last week, CBS's (NYSE: CBS  ) The Big Bang Theory made television history of a sort, when a repeat of the popular sitcom beat out an original live episode of American Idol -- Fox's erstwhile ratings juggernaut. TBBT not only scored more viewers over all in the 8:30 time slot in which it ran; it also attracted significantly more of the 18-to-49 age group whom advertisers covet.

So -- is this the end of the line for reality TV? Should we expect News Corp. (NASDAQ: FOX  ) (NASDAQ: FOXA  )  to pull the plug on Idol, and get back to writing quality, scripted television shows?

Unfortunately not, as Fool contributor Rich Smith explains in this video. (Which is also, incidentally, popular with the 18-to-49 set).

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