ABC has signed a three-year renewal for the Miss America pageant, which will return to its native Atlantic City, N.J., in September after six years in Las Vegas, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker.
Miss America’s relationship with Atlantic City started in 1921, when organizers put together an annual pageant as a way to extend the vacation season into September, the story notes. The pageant later became a TV tradition, hosted for many years by Bert Parks.
"But in recent years, the pageant has struggled to keep up with the times as Americans’ views of gender roles have changed (and also racial attitudes: for years, non-white women were barred from competing). The move to Vegas, along with a bid to ride the reality-TV wave, were part of the effort to stay relevant,” the piece reports.
The pageant attracted 6.7 million total viewers to ABC last January, which the article calls "a respectable if not spectacular figure." As recently as 1988 the show was drawing at least 50 million viewers, the piece adds.
Miss America is not associated with Miss USA, the pageant owned by Donald Trump.