Phillip Phillips will find out Wednesday night if he will win "American… (Michael Becker / Associated…)
"American Idol"continued to suffer a ratings drop as it headed into its season finale Wednesday night and prepared to crown either Phillip Phillips or Jessica Sanchez the winner.
According to preliminary ratings, the Tuesday night episode of the Fox show drew 14.3 million viewers. That was enough for an easy win, and the show also was first in the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults ages 18 to 49.
"American Idol's" overall numbers, however, are inching downward. Last season, "American Idol" averaged almost 25 million viewers; this season is typically attracting around 19 million, according to Nielsen. Tuesday night's numbers won't help that average.
Fox executives have acknowledged that the show needs some retooling as it faces greater competition from NBC's "The Voice." Whether that means another change in judges remains to be seen but Jennifer Lopez's current deal is up.
If there is a silver lining in the cloud over "American Idol," it may be that the smaller ratings will make it a little more difficult for Lopez's management team to demand a big raise to return for a third season.
Tuesday night was also the season finale of"Glee,"which averaged 7.6 million viewers and finished behind NBC's"America's Got Talent"and ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "Glee" did win its time slot among adults 18-49.
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