Record 36.3 million watch Idol 5′s finale; 42.9 million watched the last half-hour

Despite the sort of obvious conclusion, American Idol 5‘s two-hour finale spectacular was watched by 36.3 million people, the most-watched finale in five seasons, and the fourth most-watched program this year.

During the last half-hour, 42.9 million were watching. It began “with 27.4 million viewers and 10.5/32 in 18-49, climbing steadily to a peak of 42.9 million and an astounding 17.0/38 in its final half-hour,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Those are “gains of double-digit percentages compared with last year’s finale” among total viewers and those 18 to 49, Variety reports. The Hollywood Reporter puts it in simpler terms, noting that the viewership “was nearly nine times the population of Hicks’ native state of Alabama and the most-watched ‘Idol’ finale yet.”

Huge turnout sees Hicks get ‘Idol’ crown [The Hollywood Reporter]
‘Idol’ finale draws 36 million [Variety]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.