Jennifer Armstrong
September 17, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

See if ”American Juniors” is a winner or a loser

VIEWERS 7.8 million on Tuesdays, 6.7 million on Wednesdays

WHAT HAPPENED In this ”American Idol” spin-off, kids competed to be part of a five-member, Nickelodeon-friendly group.

WHY IT BOMBED Its predecessor combined reality’s best elements — humiliation, rejection, makeovers, triumph. Watching kids trade their own T-shirts for slightly sparklier ones is no match for seeing a gawky special-ed teacher morphing into a moussed heartthrob.

LASTING CONTRIBUTION TO THE GENRE Don’t humiliate kids till high school.

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