Does Anyone Care About Miley Without the Controversy?

Some eyebrows were raised when it was announced that NBC would air a two-hour special featuring pop star Miley Cyrus’ recent “Bangerz” tour, which has made headlines for her scandalous shenanigans — including copious amounts of nudity and pot smoking — before U.S. dates were postponed due to Cyrus’ allergic reaction to antibiotics. The network special was a tamed-down version of the wild tour that viewers were just not interested in watching, as was evidenced by the program’s awful ratings.

Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour only nabbed 2 million viewers on Sunday night, with a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan seen by Entertainment Weekly. While it wasn’t expected that anything airing on a Sunday night of a holiday weekend would perform spectacularly, the Bangerz special was among the least-watched shows on television during its time slot. On Fox, the cartoons Family Guy and American Dad, and on ABC, the poorly rated talent program Rising Star nabbed more viewers than the Bangerz special.

The Bangerz tour gained infamy for stunts that included Miley riding a giant hot dog, dry humping a backup dancer dressed like a joint, stuffing a thong a fan tossed on stage into her mouth, and spreading her legs and sticking her tongue out a lot. To some this represents the impending crumble of society, while to others it’s a delightfully fun bit of camp. But there was no way NBC was going to allow a pot smoking on TV, and without the weed and nudity, who is Miley Cyrus? Apparently not someone people are interested in watching on NBC on a Sunday evening.