American Idol drops 18 percent but has more viewers than every other network combined

American Idol lost 18 percent of its young viewers compared to last year’s debut, the first measurement about how viewers feel about the show now that Simon Cowell is gone and Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are judges.

However, the Fox series was more popular than shows on all the other four broadcast networks–combined–and had more young viewers than ABC, NBC, CBS, and The CW combined, and also more viewers overall, except when it faced both Modern Family and Criminal Minds.

The show “premiered down 18% among adults 18-49″ and had an average of 26.1 million average viewers, which “was down 13% from last year’s premiere 29.945 million,” which is “more than the 10-15% seasonal ratings decline that has been typical in recent seasons,” according to TV By the Numbers.

Entertainment Weekly notes that this is “the lowest-rated premiere for Idol since its 2002 summer debut, and the biggest drop ever for the show between seasons.” Also, tonight, it “will face steeper competition” than it did last night.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.