After taking last year off due to the pandemic, the Miss America Pageant will return to celebrate its 100th anniversary on Dec. 16 as a streaming-only event on Peacock, which will allow viewers in all time zones to watch the event live for the first time. Miss America last aired on NBC in December 2019 after eight years on ABC. In 2019, the Miss America pageant was watched by only 3.6 million, down from the 4.3 million the previous year. Washington Post journalist Amy Argetsinger, the author of the recent book There She Was: The Secret History of Miss America, says the pageant's exit from traditional TV is significant because it used to be a staple of American life -- it was once as important to TV viewers as the Oscars and the Super Bowl. "This is basically the Miss America apocalypse -- but it's been a long time coming," Argetsinger tweeted. "TV made Miss America what it is today – or at least what it was in its (circa) 1954-2000 heyday. It was the first reality show -- the drama of seeing an ordinary young woman catapulted to fame -- and audiences ate it up for many, many decades...Miss America got ratings on par with the Super Bowl and the Oscars. For several years, it was the most watched show of the year. Viewer estimates when Phyllis George was crowned in 1970 ran to 80 million. Obviously that hasn't been the case for a long time -- heck, it isn't even true of the Oscars -- but its longevity has been nothing short of astonishing. This year, Miss America turned 100. Seriously, 100! That's an accomplishment! What else in pop culture has lingered since the 1920s? Basically Miss America and Mickey Mouse. That's it!" But, as Argetsinger notes, the Miss America pageant plucking somebody from obscurity is essentially what reality shows have been doing for the past two decades.