NBC announced it would host Donald Trump's Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants for three additional years, in a move the broadcast network says reflects renewed interest in pageants (See press release).
TVbythenumbers collected Nielsen data into a graph earlier this year showing a precipitous drop in viewership for the main beauty pageants from the late 1980s through 2007. Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss America fell from about 20 million household in the era of shoulder pads and leg warmers to levels now hovering around 5 million.
So why would NBC renew? Trump's knack for drama.
Trump hyped every mishap related to the 2009 Miss USA pageant, starting with his outspoken support of runner-up Carrie Prejean, following her controversial opposition to gay marriage.
About a month later, Trump to Prejean on contract violations: "You're fired!"