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Octomom lays ratings egg for Fox

August 20, 2009 |  1:13 pm

Nadya Suleman, a.k.a. "Octomom," may be a tabloid sensation, but a TV star she is not.

Fox got plenty of advance PR for its two-hour Wednesday special "Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage," which purported to offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the La Habra woman who gave birth to octuplets this year. But the program averaged just 4.2 million total viewers, according to early data from Nielsen Media Research, giving it a fourth-place finish in the time slot. By comparison, the night's most-watched program, NBC's "America's Got Talent," averaged 10.3 million during the 9 p.m. hour. 

The broadcast networks have slogged through their worst summer ever this year, as new shows have bombed and viewers continue to flee to cable. But the "Octomom" flameout suggests that viewers have simply grown tired of the relentless coverage surrounding Suleman. Critics trashed the special ( called it "repulsively grim"), which featured interviews in which Suleman, among other things, trashed reality star Kate Gosselin and claimed that her house is haunted. 

-- Scott Collins