American Idol’s second episode ratings suffer

While the return of American Idol did well on Tuesday–ratings were even up in some categories–Wednesday was a different story, as the show lost viewers from Tuesday and compared to last year. Overall, it was the worst Wednesday for the show since season two.

Overall, the episode averaged 26.4 million viewers, starting around 23 and building almost to 29 in the last half-hour. Compared to last year’s 29.85 million, that was down 3.5 million viewers; worse, it was “down 14 percent with adults 18-49 vs last year’s Wednesday premiere” and “–10% in households (from 16.4/25), -15% in adults 25-54 (from 13.0/30), and lost –3.99m viewers (from 30.34m, -13%),” TV By the Numbers reports. That makes it “the smallest delivery for an American Idol Wednesday premiere since 2003 (first in-season premiere) in both households and viewers.”

Of course, it still beat every other show. Perhaps people tuned in just because of the buzz associated with Simon Cowell’s departure? Perhaps the relatively weak first episode turned people off? Perhaps there was just better stuff on TV, like The Middle and Modern Family?

American Idol Second Night Down; Ugly Betty’s Ratings’ Pants Are On The Ground [TV By the Numbers]
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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, 37, 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.