'American Idol' ratings sink in Season 11 premiere
Fox executives predicted last week that "American Idol" would return to lower ratings -- and they were right.
"Idol," TV's No. 1 show for years, premiered its 11th season Wednesday night to 21.6 million total viewers, according to Nielsen -- a sharp 17% drop compared with last year and the series' lowest opening since its first season during the summer of 2002. At its 2007 peak, "Idol" opened to 37.4 million viewers.
Among young adults, the news was worse. In the crucial adults age 18 to 49 demographic favored by advertisers, "Idol" scored a 7.2 rating/18 share, plunging 26%.
It should be noted that Fox still won the night handily -- in fact, the network nearly doubled the viewer average for CBS.
Still, the numbers lend weight to the notion that viewers may be pulling back a bit on their consumption of singing shows. "Idol" comes just weeks after Fox's "The X Factor" -- which premiered to 12.5 million total viewers -- wrapped its run. And NBC will bring back "The Voice" next month.
What did you think of the "Idol" premiere?
-- Scott Collins
Photo: Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson return to the judges' table on Wednesday's season premiere of "American Idol." Credit: Michael Becker / Fox