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What if Someone Held an Olympics and Nobody Watched?

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The Winter Olympics in Turino -- formerly Turin for those English speakers who thought that extra "o" was just too much to pronounce -- have been akin to the proverbial two-week-old, 500-pound elephant in the room for most Angelenos. Ratings have been down, thanks to a myriad of factors (e.g., hyped superstars coming up duds, other networks throwing up new programs, it's too cold in LA to watch cold sports on TV).

According to an Associated Press wire story this morning:

NBC promised its advertisers that the Turin Games would deliver a prime-time rating of between 12 and 14 (each rating point represents 1,102,000 households). Through Sunday night's telecast, the average rating stood at 12.1. NBC will offer women's figure skating -- always the most popular winter Olympics event -- this week. But it's also facing three episodes of "American Idol" and the conclusion of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." Although the Olympics won Sunday night in the ratings overall, it lost head-to-head to ABC's "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy."

With those shows and CBS' "Survivor," the Olympics hasn't really faced such competition before, Ebersol said...The poor U.S. performance in the games undoubtedly hurts, he said. The first Sunday was particularly tough, with Michelle Kwan dropping out of the Olympics, highly touted skiers Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves doing poorly and Apolo Anton Ohno stumbling in speedskating.

(And we can't forget to mention how
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Lindsey Jacobellis blew her snowboardcross event hotdogging it to the finish line.)

So LAist is asking you to do your patriotic duty: TiVo American Idol tonight and watch America's favorite substitute skater, Emily Hughes, or the soap opera on skates between speedskaters Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick in the 1,500-meter event. No peeking on the Internet either -- it spoils the fun.

And tomorrow, there's Curling -- when the U.S. men's team could medal. Honestly, we love watching "stone" being thrown and those two guys sweeping the path furiously. It's better than watching the NHL compete against each other in Olympic ice hockey -- and we now want a T-shirt to support our new favorite pasttime.