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Miss America pageant organizers considering TV return plans

UPI News Service, 04/09/2005 

Organizers of the Miss America pageant were considering Saturday ways to get the 85-year-old contest back on U.S. television.

When its national audience fell to less than 10 million viewers, ABC-TV dropped the live broadcast of the pageant from Atlantic City, N.J. The non-profit group that runs the pageant relies on the $3.2 million broadcast contract to help keep the national organization afloat, the New York Times reported Saturday.

Data shows the talent portion and the interviews are the least popular parts of the pageant, while the swimsuit competition remains popular.

Some of the options being considered by pageant officials are turning the event into a multinight elimination with fans participating via phone and the Internet along the lines of Fox's "American Idol," behind the scenes segments and some back room plotting and backstabbing along the lines of NBC's "The Apprentice."

Some pageant officials say Miss America has to face the realities of reality television, but some would rather not see their program give up all the values that they've stood for 85 years.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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