American Idol keeps its audience without Paula Abdul, adds viewers 18 to 34

After losing viewers every year, American Idol returned last night with about the same number of viewers who tuned in to the first episode last season.

The episode averaged 29.7985 million viewers over its two hours, starting around 25 million and peaking with 32.3 million in the 9:00 half-hour. That’s down slightly from the 30.074 million who watched Kara DioGuardi’s debut a year ago. TV By the Numbers reports that the episode was “right in line with last year’s premiere performance” among total viewers and those 18 to 49, but “was as up +8% versus last year’s Tuesday premiere among Adults 18-34.”

Against Fox’s behemoth, TV By the Numbers notes that “NCIS ratings (and CBS as a whole) held up surprisingly well, while NBC’s Biggest Loser and the entire ABC line up ratings suffered.”

TV Ratings Tuesday: American Idol Premiere Steady; NCIS Holds Up; Conan’s Tonight Show Soars [TV By the Numbers]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.