Ratings up slightly but American Idol lost teenage girls and women, gained older men

The audience for American Idol seems to be changing, as the series has lost females but gained male viewers.

Compared to last year’s, last week’s top 12 performance show lost 12 percent of its teenage girls ages 12 to 17, 22 percent of women ages 18 to 34, and 8 percent of women ages 25 to 54, according to USA TODAY’s analysis of Nielsen ratings. Overall, there are just 900,000 teenage girls watching, compared to 9.5 million women ages 25 to 54.

Among men, however, the show has gained viewers: there’s been a 7 percent increase in teenage boys 12 to 17, a five percent gain among men 18 to 34, and a 10 percent increase among men 25 to 54. There were 700,000 boys ages 12 to 17, and 6.4 million men 25 to 54.

Overall, last week’s Tuesday episode was watched by 29.9 million viewers, up .2 percent from last year.

Spotlight: Who watches ‘Idol’? [USA TODAY]

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.