08/13/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

America Loves "America's Got Talent," But Is It A 20-Million Viewer Show? Simon Says: Yes

Going strictly by the weekly ratings, the days of creating big reality-show hits in the summer may be over.

Oh, a few network shows this summer have produced respectable-to-good numbers -- "Wipeout" on ABC, and "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Hell's Kitchen" on Fox.

But the disappointments ("The Greatest American Dog" on CBS) and outright flops ("High School Musical: Get in the Picture" on ABC) are piling up like lawn cuttings. And none of the current summer entries seems to be seizing the nation's attention the way "Survivor" on CBS, "American Idol" on Fox and "Dancing With the Stars" on ABC once did.

Still, at least one expert in the field, a gentleman named Simon Cowell, would beg to differ:

"I think we have a 20-million-viewer show here eventually," said Mr. Cowell, who knows about outsize audiences from his perch as a judge on "Idol."

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