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 “â€“10% in households (from 16.4/25), -15% in adults 25-54 (from 13.0/30), and lost â€“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?