Several weeks ago All-American Muslim debuted on TLC to a storm of publicity and high ratings, but the publicity has vanished and the ratings are dribbling away. The series had premiered to a 1.7 rating, but last Sunday's episode had dropped to a 1.1 rating. The television ratings for this week aren't in yet, but the news for TLC and the producers of All-American Muslim isn't likely to be any better.
All-American Muslim had originally finished ahead of the terrorism drama Homeland which airs in the same timeslot, but last week Homeland finished ahead of it, and not because its ratings had improved. Homeland had lost viewers, but All-American Muslim had lost even more viewers making it by far the lowest rated show on TLC Sunday nights. Worse still its 18-49 demographic had been cut in half, which put it way at the bottom of the ratings pile and that made it a bad bargain for the advertisers who stuck it out with the controversial series only to be rewarded with a Halal turkey.
Despite being fictional Homeland is in some ways a truer depiction of the All-American Muslim and of the captive American audiences who yearn to identify with Muslims, much like Nicholas Brody, the enigmatic figure at the heart of Homeland whose loss of context and identity have seduced him to the other side. All-American Muslim gives Americans the Muslims that they would like to live next door to, but Homeland shows them the Muslims that they fear living next door to. Homeland confronts this ambiguity, but All-American Muslim pretends that it doesn't exist.