American Idol 5 debut watched by 35.5 million people, the most ever

An average of 35.5 million people watched the two-hour debut of American Idol 5 last night, a six percent increase from last year’s debut and series high.

Those numbers “propelled Fox to a historic night, its highest ratings ever for entertainment programming in total viewers and, among adults 18-49, second only to the Joe Millionaire finale on Feb. 17, 2003,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

At 9 p.m., 38.7 million people were watching, according to fast overnight ratings. Final numbers will be released later today.

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