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TV ratings: 'American Idol' 13th season premiere slides

January 16, 2014|By Ryan Faughnder
  • "American Idol" judges Keith Urban, left, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., right, with host Ryan Seacrest.
"American Idol" judges Keith Urban, left, Jennifer Lopez and… (Kevin Winter / Getty Images )

Fox's long-running "American Idol" continued to show its age with the ratings from its season premiere Wednesday night.

The 13th season opener of "American Idol" drew an average 15.2 million viewers overall and earned a rating of 4.7 among key 18- to 49-year-olds. That's down 15% in total viewership compared with last year's premiere, and a drop of 22% in the young-adults demographic, continuing a downward trend since the show's premiere peak in 2007.

The network is hoping to revamp the show's tone and regain some of the fans it lost during the last season, which was largely marred by the animosity between superstars Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey

The singing competition fell to a season average of 13.2 million viewers last year, down 23% from 2012. Simon Cowell left the show at the end of the 2010 season. 

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Country singer and guitar wizard Keith Urban returned from last season, while Jennifer Lopez was back after a year off and crooner Harry Connick Jr. joined the panel for the first time. 

One positive sign was that the premiere was up 6% in total viewers from the 12th season finale and up 31% in the key demo. 

While the "Idol" premiere was lower than the most recent opener for NBC's "The Voice" in the 18-49 demo, "Idol" still performed better among viewers overall and teens. 

Fox beat CBS, NBC and ABC in prime time ratings Wednesday night. The numbers for the "Duck Dynasty" season opener don't come out until later Thursday. 

[UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect final numbers from Nielsen.] 


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