TV Ratings: 'American Idol' drops 23 percent in Season 13 Wednesday premiere
It's the lowest 'Idol' premiere ever in the key demo
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The Season 13 premiere of "American Idol" was down by 23 percent in the key demographic and by 16 percent overall on Wednesday night, making it the lowest rated "Idol" premiere ever in the demo and the lowest season Season 1 in viewers. FOX still dominated Wednesday in all measures.
While the percentage drops from last winter's premiere speak for themselves, FOX still has some spin: For the first time since Season 10, "Idol" premiered with higher ratings than its finale. That's a reflection more on how low the Season 12 finale was than anything else, but still. Also, FOX notes that "Idol" tied the most recent premiere of "The Voice" in viewers.
Meanwhile, "Suburgatory" retained demo numbers decently from "The Middle" in its latest premiere, but dropped steeply in viewers. The second week of "Chicago PD" was also down against returns for "CSI" and "Nashville."
Let's get to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, FOX averaged a 4.6 rating for Wednesday night, comfortably winning the key demographic. CBS was second with a 1.9 key demo rating, followed closely by the 1.8 key demo rating for ABC. NBC's 1.4 key demo rating and the 0.8 key demo rating for The CW trailed.
Overall, FOX averaged very nearly 15 million viewers and a 8.7 ratings/14 share for Wednesday night. CBS was second with a 5.6/9 and 8.65 million viewers, followed by ABC's 4.0/6 and 6.09 million viewers. NBC's 3.5/6 and 5.3 million viewers was still far ahead of the 1.3/2 and 2.04 million for The CW.
[Since those are the "American Idol" numbers for FOX, I'll just note that last year's Wednesday "Idol" premiere averaged 17.93 million viewers and a 6.0 key demo rating.]
8 p.m. - "American Idol" started primetime in first for FOX with 14.68 million viewers and a 4.3 rating among adults 18-49 for the 8 p.m. hour. ABC was second with "The Middle" (7.47 million and a 1.8 key demo) and the "Suburgatory" premiere (5.27 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo). CBS' repeats of "Two and a Half Men" and "The Millers" averaged 5.215 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating, compared to the 4.91 million viewers and 1.3 key demo rating for NBC's "Revolution." The return of "Arrow" averaged 2.49 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating on The CW.
9 p.m. - The second hour of "American Idol" was up to 15.32 million viewers and a 4.8 rating among adults 18-49 for FOX (though it peaked in the 9 p.m. half-hour and dropped for 9:30). CBS' "Criminal Minds" averaged 10.47 million viewers for second and tied for second with a 2.4 key demo rating. ABC was third overall and tied for second in the key demo rating with "Modern Family" (9.1 million and a 3.2 key demo) and "Super Fun Night" (4.62 million and a 1.6 key demo). NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" averaged 5.46 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating in fourth, beating the 1.59 million viewers and 0.6 key demo rating for The CW's "Tomorrow People" return.
10 p.m. - "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" averaged 10.26 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 to win the 10 p.m. hour. NBC's "Chicago PD" averaged 5.54 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating, edging out the 5.05 million viewers and 1.3 key demo rating for ABC's "Nashville."
[UPDATE: In Finals, "Idol" ticked up to a 15.2 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49.]
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.